Agricultural exports from the Philippines have entered three new international markets, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and local quarantines. In the past two months, maiden shipments of avocados arrived in China, cacao in Belgium and coconut milk in Russia.
Philippine avocados officially entered China through a 7.7-ton shipment from the fruit company Dole Philippines. The avocados were shipped from Davao and arrived in the Dole China processing plant in Shanghai on March 31, 2020. The avocados will be first sold by Alibaba Group’s supermarket chain Hema Xiansheng and will be available in more stores in the future.
On the other hand, Auro Chocolate brought Philippine cacao beans to the European market through a shipment to Antwerp, Belgium on April 16. The shipment, which brought 20,000 kilograms of Mindanao-sourced premium cacao beans, was composed of five different cacao varieties, including the Paquibato Origin, a winner of the Cocoa Excellence Award in 2019.
“Now is the time for Philippine agricultural products to thrive,” said Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) director Senen Perlada, adding that DTI-EMB will strengthen its coordination with the Department of Agriculture and DTI-Foreign Trade Service Corps to match supply with demand. In turn, DTI-EMB will capacitate existing and aspiring exporters for them to be able to comply with international standards.
“Covid-19 may lead to market access issues and non-tariff measures. It may be more difficult to comply with stricter regulations, certifications, external and domestic regulations. The DTI-EMB commits to assist exporters, especially micro, small and medium enterprises to comply with these requirements and introduce their products to the world,” Perlada told sunstar.com.ph.