Singapore firms eye PH fruit products

By Czeriza Valencia, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 03 2012 12:01 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2012 03:25 AM

MANILA, Philippines - At least five big supermarket and retail companies in Singapore have expressed interest in Philippine fruit and fruit product exports such as Cavendish bananas, pineapples, coconut sugar and coconut water, according to the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Malacañang earlier announced that the country is eyeing alternative markets for bananas – one of which is Singapore – to help local banana growers affected by the stricter entry requirements imposed by China, which claimed to have found pests in the fruits from the Philippines.

These Singapore-based companies are supermarket chains NTUC Fairprice, Sheng Siong, Carrefour, and shopping centers Takashimaya, and Mustafa.

Data obtained from the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), a sub-agency of the DTI shows that to date, Philippine fruit exports have gathered 761 inquiries following the country’s participation to the Food and Hotel Asia (FHA) 2012 expo held in Singapore from April 17 to 20.

CITEM, at present, is still negotiating the inquiries, some of which came in post-event.

CITEM executive director Rosvi Gaetos said onsite sales of Philippine fruit and fruit product exports reached $8.54 million.

The trade show drew over 40,000 visitors from 91 countries. Most of the trade visitors came from the airline, cruise, and rail food service; hotel, restaurant and catering; hospitality consulting and hotels; supermarkets and groceries; and industrial sectors.

Ten local firms participated in the trade expo in Singapore. These are: Agrinurture Inc. which grows fruits and vegetables (Cavendish bananas, mangoes, pineapples, coconuts) for export as well as processing into canned juice and frozen products.

Brandexports Philippines, Inc. which manufactures dried mangoes, coffee, suchero coconut sugar, tropical fruit cocktail in cans, tropical fruit juices and purees, canned coconut milk/cream, desiccated coconut, coconut milk powder and Filipino food assortment.

Green Heights Agricultural Corp. which grows Mt. Fuji-brand Japanese rice, Koshihikari variety; Hi-Las Marketing Corporation which produces fresh mangoes, frozen mangoes, frozen puree, dried fruits, fresh okra, and mango concentrate.

Marigold Manufacturing Corp. (Mama Sita) which manufactures the well-known Mama Sita’s mixes and sauces; Market Reach International Resources which processes candies, Filipino ethnic food, sauces, condiments, chips, noodles, and beverages.

Also, Megafishing Corp. which manufactures Mega Sardines in jitney cans and pouches, dried fish, and bottled sardines; Philippine Grocers Food Exports Inc. which manufactures assorted consolidated products such as beverages, snacks, frozen food among others.

TBN Food products which manufactures assorted food items; and Universal Canning Corporation which manufactures canned seafood under the brands Master, Family's, Atami, and Mikado, as well as dried and frozen fish.

China has begun accepting Philippine banana exports but demand has been low.