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Local entrepreneurs, farmers: Buy Filipino

By: - Reporter / @CMarquezINQ
/ 12:23 AM March 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines –  Amid the hustle and bustle of customers in the 2019 National Food Fair (NFF),  local business owners appealed to Filipinos to patronize high-quality local, home-grown and made products.

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Wit Holga, a cacao farmer from Davao City, displayed her cacao products at her food pavilion stationed at the NFF.

“Sa akin importante yun [support from Filipinos] kasi farmer nga ako. Alam ko gaano kalaking hirap. Dugo at pawis ang pinupundar namin na mag-create ng masasarap ng produkto,” she told INQUIRER.net at the 2019 NFF at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City on Thursday.

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Healthy, yummy local Cacao

Filipino-made cacao products are also healthier options than most chocolate products, Holga said.

“Cacao is a super food and maraming tao na ngayon ang nahihilig na kumain ng mas healthier options so gumawa kami ng sweeter nibs na may coconut sugar,” she said.

Canned delicacies

Gohna Velasquez, owner of Batangas-based food cannery, called on Filipinos to start patronizing locally-made ingredients because these products are “all-natural.”

“Sa mga Filipino, patronize po yung local products. Ito po ay healthy at saka talagang walang chemical, all-natural products ang produkto nating Pilipino,” Velasquez said in an interview.

Velasquez is selling homemade canned food such as ginataang tawilis, pickled ampalaya and pickled sigarilyas.

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Boost market opportunities

Business owners also hoped the four-day NFF meant to showcase micro- small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) could boost market growth in the Philippines.

Holga said the food fair could help increase the awareness on her cacao products  in Visayas and Luzon.

“Itong ganitong mga events nabibigyan kami ng opportunity. Nakikilala kami ng ibang isla sa Luzon at Visayas, na may magagandang produkto galing Mindanao o galing ng Davao,” Holga said.

Guimaras mangoes

Elena Quezon, Provincial Economic Development Officer of Guimaras, said the Guimaras’ mango industry should be recognized in the national market.

“Not all products in the region get to be exposed in the national market,” she told INQUIRER.net.

“At the moment, we are helping mango growers development cooperative in exposing or promoting the mango industry since we have already collective mark for our Guimaras mango,” she added.

Quezon is one of the Guimaras government officials helping mango growers market their products nationwide.

Going global

Velasquez said her homemade canned food business has penetrated markets in the United States and Singapore.

“Nakikita ko na lumalawak na yung market namin nagexport na po kami sa US at Singapore po,” Velasquez said.

“Mas gusto nila po yung Filipino product tulad tawilis and tulingan. Filipinong Filipino po talaga,” she added.

For the Guimaras mango industry, Quezon said they started exploring their market in Guam and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

“It will enable us to learn and try our own way on accessing new markets, for example may be by tomorrow will have market linkage with possible exporters because we get inquiries from Guam and from Dubai,” she said. / gsg

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TAGS: buy Filipino, National Food Fair, NFF
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