THIS year’s Negros Trade Fair will hype up the province’s sugar industry, particularly its story that has positively influenced the lifestyle of Negrenses.
This was underscored by Catherine Cusi-Lobaton, chair of the 33rd Negros Trade Fair, during the event launching at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City on Tuesday, March 27.
Cusi-Lobaton said this year’s trade fair, scheduled from September 25 to 30 still at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City, is a tribute to the sugar industry.
“The sugar industry started it all, because of it the lifestyle of Negrenses has improved. Thus, we want to hype up its glory especially its contribution to the province’s growth and dynamic culture,” she added.
The sugar industry currently faces a lot of challenges thus, it is timely for it to be highlighted during the annual event being visited by thousands of local and foreign guests, Cusi-Lobaton further said.
Themed “Sweet Talk: Sugar and Spice, Awesome and Nice,” the six-day Negros Trade Fair is organized by the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) in collaboration with the Provincial Government and other partners including the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), among others.
The launching is being held months before the event mainly to give participating entrepreneurs enough time to prepare their products.
From 118 participating exhibitors in 2017, ANP is working on encouraging more participants this year.
In terms of sales, the organization also targets to surpass last year’s income of P25.5 million.
Given the theme, Cusi-Lobaton said participating entrepreneurs are expected to create new products using sugar, or its byproducts, as its component.
She pointed out that the trade fair will still showcase truly Negros products under different sectors, but anybody can use sugar as an “inspiration” in coming up with their products.
“We are going to open it first to the members of the organization, though non-ANP members can still join,” Cusi-Lobaton said, stressing that every year, local producers are becoming more competent.
Also, the Negros Trade Fair becomes a bigger every year, which is evident in the number of entrepreneurs participating, the bulk of products displayed and sold, and the growing number of visitors gathered at the event, she added.
After the launching attended by local producers, the ANP has set the Bulawan Awards and Trade Fair in July, 33rd Negros Trade Fair Press Launch in August, and pre-event exhibitors briefing in September.