Processed food and beverages among PH focus export targets

Export stakeholders have included processed food and beverages and other food products among the focus export targets owing to their bright prospects.

These food goods, along with electronics products and information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO), “are already part of the array of goods and services seen to contribute to realizing the overall targets for 2022”, according to the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022.

“If processed food and beverages, and other food products in general, are to be focused exports targets, the path to hitting it big is arduous though promising,” it noted.

The Plan said the country has comparative advantages in tropical-resource based products into different forms, such as fresh, canned, dried, processed and semi-processed, among others.

To gain greater market foothold, it said the country should exploit consumer changes from product differentiation to catering to packaging, safety, nutritional content, global standards, among others.

“In terms of dynamism many of these processed fruits and vegetables are champions in the trade maps and have retained these distinctions overtime. And when the scope of processed food, beverage, and vegetable is expanded in consonance with these changing consumption characteristics potential revenues could be higher,” it added.

The report underscored the need to capitalize on opportunities in the sector.

It cited data indicating that in January-December 2017, exports of processed food and beverages, processed tropical fruits, and other fruits and vegetables “remain low though not insignificant” at around US$ 1.14 billion in an international market value of US$ 3.03 trillion by 2020.

To seize market opportunities, the Plan said producers have to subscribe to international best practices and submit to third-party audits for certain procedures.

They also need to adhere to product standards, including stringent requirements such as traceability of fruits and horticulture.

“Collaboration, joint ventures and other forms of market penetration and knowledge acquisition increasingly becomes essential as well as encouraging FDI (foreign direct investment) into these products groups with companies with established reputations interested in the country’s advantages and opportunities,” it added.

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