THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said brought its largest contingent thus far of food exporters to the world’s biggest food show in Germany this week.

In a statement issued Monday, the DTI said its Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) organized the delegation of 36 food producers and manufacturers to the Anuga Food Fair in Cologne on Oct. 5-9.

The biennial Allgemeine Nahrungs- und Genussmittel-Ausstellung (General Food and Beverage Exhibition) or Anuga, which attracted over 165,000 visitors from 198 countries.

DTI Undersecretary for Special Concerns and Trade Promotions Abdulgani Macatoman said that the Philippine contingent grew to 36 from an initial roster of 31 exhibitors.

“Many of our local firms are looking to leverage the increasing food demand in the global market and what better way to do that than to be at the world’s biggest food show,” he said.

Of the 36 participants, 21 were first-timers. To feature delicacies from various Philippine regions, 17 of the exhibitors are so-called “One Town, One Product” (OTOP) companies.

OTOP is a DTI stimulus program for micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises that identifies and promotes products specific to their communities.

“Along with the well-known exporters, local food producers under the OTOP section will elevate the country’s iconic and quintessential flavors from local farms and grass roots communities to surprise and delight the global palate,” CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan said.

The Philippine delegation in Germany exhibited “creative applications” of the country’s “Premium 7” export products: banana, cacao, coconut, coffee, mango, pineapple, and tuna.

The delegation also brought salmon, sardines, oriental noodles, shrimp, gluten-free pasta, confectioneries and baking ingredients, fruit beverages, sauces, spices, and condiments.

The Philippine delegation to Germany consisted of partners in various programs run by CITEM and OTOP, supported by the Foreign Trade Services Corps (FTSC), the association of trade attaches worldwide, and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PITC) in Berlin. — Jenina P. Ibañez