WITH the aim of improving the region's products in terms of quality and commercial viability, about 28 delegates from Northern Mindanao participated in Asia's largest international trade event for food, pharmaceutical processing, and packaging technology in Bangkok, Thailand, on July 14 to 17 this year.
The 28 delegates to the event, dubbed Propak Asia, came from Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, and Lanao del Norte.
Clarke Nebrao, Association of Laguna Food Processors Association, Inc. (ALAFOP) president and lecturer of the Kapatid Mentor Me program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Northern Mindanao, said they brought owners of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to upgrade and innovate their product packaging, especially in the food sector.
"Most of the MSMEs’ issues on quality and commercial viability came from the limited packaging options that they have so the ProPak Asia 2017 in Thailand exposed them to the latest trends in packaging," Nebrao said.
Northern Mindanao delegates were exposed to the current trends in processing and packaging by attending seminars while others got a chance to visit the different processing and packaging equipment exhibits.
Among the factories that the delegates visited were Thailand’s five-star One Town, One Product, such as the MaeChuy Cherry Tomato Processing in Doi Tum District, Nakhon Pathom, Ban Saladin Rice Cracker Processing at Mahasawat, Puthamonthon.
DTI-Misamis Oriental provincial director Eliza Pabillore said the Propak Asia experience was an eye opener to the delegates on how foreign countries improve their products and packaging to survive and excel in the market with stiff competition.
The 25th Propak Asia welcomed over 2,000 exhibitors from 45 countries, including 18 international pavilions from Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, UK and the USA.
The Philippines has the biggest delegation with 180 participants.
The DTI regional office here has been actively conducting screening sessions to map out the new generation of MSMEs, evaluate them, and provide assistance for them to be able to compete with national and international products.
After the passed the screening, the MSMEs' products are displayed in Go Lokal Stores, which are located in shopping malls and grocery stores.