Taiwan ‘receptive’ to RP food products
Good news for Philippine food exporters.
Dry goods, processed fruits and other food preparations are welcome in the Taiwanese market, provided local processors follow Taipei’s strict protocol on packaging, labeling and certification standards.
This, according to the USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program in a statement.
Mindanao food exporters who took part in the recent Taipei International Food Show learned that Taiwanese retail outlets were willing to buy and market most Philippine-made goods, but only if these goods complied with phytosanitary and sanitary rules of Taiwan’s trade department on imported goods.
“Mindanao food items such as dried mango were superior or at least at par with products from other places,” said Amalia Datukan of the business growth team of GEM.
The group noted that products from other countries that were featured during the exhibit already had international certifications on global food-safety standards, a crucial factor in international trade that Philippine-made products lack.
GEM works in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry to expand exports of selected higher-value agricultural commodities from Mindanao.
The program assists small and medium food companies in Mindanao to join selected international trade affairs. GEM said companies have reported actual sales of more than $20 million resulting from their participation in eight international fairs.
In the last 10 years, Taiwan’s population of 23 million has grown in purchasing power and openness to Western and Asian foods. These include fruit and marine items produced in Mindanao.
In addition, more than 90,000 Filipinos work in Taiwan, providing a ready market for these products.
Many of these Filipino expatriates frequent EEC Elite Mart, which has more than 50 branches, including 20 in Taipei. This grocery chain carried a substantial number of Philippine food items, including canned sardines from Mindanao, noodles, fruit beverages and snacks.
“The dried-fruit packaging appears to be up to Taiwan market standards. But we noted that items from other countries also had product labels translated into Chinese, which would entice more consumers to try unfamiliar foods,” said Datukan.
Other Mindanao exports to Taiwan include tropical fruit juices, fresh and processed pineapple, fruit mixtures, banana chips, canned tuna, seaweeds, desiccated coconut, and fresh or chilled asparagus.
Despite Taiwan’s market potential and proximity to the Philippines, it ranks 28th among Mindanao’s export destinations, based on the records of the trade department.
GEM noted that Taiwan’s accession to the World Trade Organization in early 2002 resulted in further market liberalization and import tariff reduction. Taiwan’s growing retail industry is open to new food imports. BusinessMirror