THIRTY-NINE food exporters are exhibiting their goods at Dubai’s Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition Salon Culinaire 2022, known as Gulfood, which runs between Feb. 13 and 17. 

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) said the Philippine delegation to Gulfood is the largest ever.

The exhibitors hope to “strengthen (their) presence within the Middle East and African region with Philippine halal-certified products, high-value coconut products, and other distinct and quality food products,” the DTI said in a statement.

According to Trade Secretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman, participation in Gulfood promises to expand the reach of Philippine halal products.

Other goods on offer are plant-based foods, processed marine, fruit and vegetable products, frozen native delicacies, noodles, coffee, cacao nibs, spices, and condiments.

Philippine participation is both onsite and virtual, via terminals displaying the IFEXConnect and FOODPhilippines websites.

“We are bringing a holistic-sourcing experience through a mix of digital and physical showcases in the pavilion that will act as the onsite storefront of IFEXConnect. It will showcase the exhibitors’ products in a curated retail store-like setting and these products can be viewed online through the QR codes that we set in place,” CITEM Executive Director Paulina Suaco-Juan said. 

Companies participating in Gulfood 2022 include Agrinurture, Inc., Brandexports Philippines, Inc./8VX Corp., Business Innovations Gateway, Inc., Century Pacific Food, Inc., CJ Uniworld Corp., FedWeration of People’s Sustainable Development Corp., Fenor Foods Corp., Fisher Farms, Inc., Fruits of Life, Inc., Gem Foods International, Inc., Greenlife Coconut Products Philippines, Inc., Innovative Packaging Industry Corp., Janicahh Food Products, JNRM Corp., KLT Fruits, Inc., Krystle Exports Philippines, Inc., Limketkai Manufacturing Corp., MagicMelt Food, Inc., and Marikina Food Corp.

Other food export firms present in the exhibition are Market Reach International Resources, Mega Global Corp., Miguelitos International Corp., Pasciolco Agriventures, Peter Paul Philippines, Philippine Grocers Food Exports, Inc., Q-Phil International Trading, Sabroso Chocolate Manufacturing, SandPiper Spices and Condiments Corp., SL Agritech Corp., Unilab, Inc. /Sekaya Global, Universal Canning, Inc., Cocoturmeric Health Products, KF Nutri Foods International, Inc., AG Pacific Nutriceuticals Corp., Nutrarich Nutraceutical Innovations, Ahya Coco Organic Food Manufacturing, Gacayan General Merchandise, PMTZ Care Marketing, and Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp.

“As one of the world’s biggest expos for the food and hospitality industries, Gulfood has historically attracted huge numbers and key players to Dubai. This year, more than 98,000 professional attendees from 120 countries are expected to discover different productions of over 5,000 exhibitors from a wide range of product sectors,” the DTI said.

During a recent speech at the Expo 2020 Dubai, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said various companies from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are expected to invest $580.5 million in the Philippines by this year or next year.

Mr. Lopez said the estimated investments are a result of long-term interest by UAE firms. He added that the projected investments are expected to create around 3,900 jobs. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave