Metro Retail, Canadian gov’t partner to promote Canadian products in PH

CANADIAN SPREAD. Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Bruce Hartman checks out the wide Canadian food selection at the Metro Supermarket Ayala Center Cebu during the launching of the month-long Explore Canadian Flavors.
CANADIAN SPREAD. Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Bruce Hartman checks out the wide Canadian food selection at the Metro Supermarket Ayala Center Cebu during the launching of the month-long Explore Canadian Flavors. KATLENE O. CACHO-LAUREJAS

USING food and retail to deepen economic ties between the Philippines and Canada, the Canadian government, in partnership with Cebu-based Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI), brought the “Explore Canadian Flavors” promotion to Cebu.

“Food is without a doubt a key staple that binds both Canada and the Philippines. The products that are displayed in this month-long promotional event are those that we enjoy back home,” said Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Bruce Hartman, during the program’s launching on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at the Metro Supermarket Ayala Center Cebu.

This initiative, according to Hartman, coincides with the 75th year of Canada-Philippines diplomatic relations.

“We intend to promote Canada as a business partner for businesses in the region. I think we have a good story to tell, most importantly, we have good products to sell,” the ambassador said. “In a very competitive marketplace, we want to make sure that local businesses understand the value proposition of Canada.”

From Feb. 15 to March 15, customers can enjoy an array of Canadian products sourced from different parts of Canada from beverages, and snacks, to cooking essentials with special discounts, buy-one-get-one promos, and gifts with purchase when buying in-store. Customers will also enjoy free delivery when they purchase Canadian products online.

“What you see in the Metro are a lot of artisanal products. These are products from smaller manufacturers in Canada. These are small and medium-sized businesses that underpin the vast majority of our business community and they have the opportunity to bring some of their niche unique products that are often from regions in Canada. The fact that they can sell their products here in Cebu is amazing... This is the type of stories we want to be able to give oxygen to and make sure people will have understanding and appreciation and create a unique connection for both countries,” said Hartman, during the media interview.

Manuel Alberto, MRSGI president and chief operating officer, said every item has been carefully selected to ensure authenticity and quality, reflecting Canada’s vibrant food heritage. There are about 200 Canadian products available in Metro Supermarkets.

“This is not only about promotion but also fostering cultural ties between Filipinos and Canadians,” said Alberto.

The “Explore Canadian Flavors” is presented in partnership with the Province of British Columbia and the Province of Ontario and will be available through seven participating Metro locations across the Philippines, including Ayala Center Cebu, Market Market, Alabang, Pasig, Bacolod, Mandaue and Angeles. / KOC

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