OVER 100 food and beverages products and services will be showcased as the 2014 World Food Expo (Wofex) Mindanao and 9th Food Processing & Packaging Technology Expo (FPP) Mindanao opens today until Saturday at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier.

In an e-mail, Premier Events Plus Group, Inc. (PEPGroup) president Joel B. Pascual said most of the exhibitors are from Manila and most companies represent some of the best food and beverage products and services from all over the world.

"Aside from these well-known local and international brands, we also like to give an opportunity to some homegrown exhibitors into our expo through participation of some of Davao's best," he said.

Pascual said the event is aimed: to help bring together buyers and sellers and to give business more purchasing options; to help uplift the quality and production outputs of local food manufacturers by giving them options to upgrade their facilities; to help uplift the quality of foodservice, from the food to the service in hotels, restaurants and resorts; to educate and promote technology transfer through our series of seminars and demos; and to help create entrepreneurs by providing them business ideas.

They hope to surpass the 8,000 turnout of visitors last year.

Pascual said one the Wofex University, a series of lectures and seminars led by the experts of the food industry, is among the highlights of the event.

"This year, we have invited an impressive line-up of experts to talk on Foodservice Trends, Hot Kitchen and Baking. Well respected speakers such as Chef Penk Ching, Chef Ed Bugia, Chef Nancy Reyes-Lumen, Mr. Robert Francisco and many others are going to share their expertise," he said.

Cooking demos and the Umami Culinary Challenge by Ajinomoto, which is looking for Mindanao's representative to its national finals in Manila, will also spice up the expo.

"We hope to accomplish our goal of promoting business. For every equipment bought in Wofex, it means there is somebody upgrading their operations. For every attendee in our seminars, it means people are upgrading their skills. And for every visitor that goes to the expo, we hope to germinate the idea of entrepreneurship," Pascual said.

Wofex is organized by PEPGroup, Inc., one of the leading event organizers in the Philippines.

Wofex Minandanao started in Davao nine years ago but due to lack of a proper venue, it was brought to to Cagayan de Oro several years ago. With the completion of the SMX Convention Center, Wofex Mindanao returned to Davao last year.