Albay joins Asia food show

LEGAZPI CITY -- Albay culinary producers here, particularly in its second congressional district, are set to join and participate in the upcoming IFEX Philippines, Asia’s premier ethnic food and ingredients show set May 19-21, at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda’s congressional office here has been negotiating in behalf of local food manufacturers for slots in the food show, particularly those with export-ready products to help them further access the international market.

Salceda has continuously supported Albay’s food industry via the Culinaria Albay brand, which he pioneered during his nine-year stint as governor of his province. Culinary tourism has significantly helped boost Albay’s economy.

IFEX Philippines is the country’s biggest international trade exhibition of the Philippines and Asia's ethnic and specialty food, vegetables, tropical fruits, seafood, beverages, bakery and confectionery, meat and poultry, Halal-certified, as well as natural, organic, and healthy food products.

The Bicol province’s forthcoming participation in IFEX Philippines 2017 follows the impressive successes of the Culinaria Albay brand in the recent Madrid Fusion food expo last April 6-8 at the SMX Mall of Asia, where buyers — having familiarized themselves with Albayano ethnic gustatory tastes — have shown astounding interest in native Albay foods.

Following the Madrid Fusion Manila food exposition, three international chefs and food writers from Russia, London and the Middle East have chosen Albay and Sorsogon for their post expo destinations, a validation of Culinaria Albay’s forward march, Salceda noted.

Negotiations are also being undertaken for Albay to join the World Street Food Jamboree May 31 to June 4 this year at the Mall of Asia, with 28 of the world’s best Street Food Masters from 12 countries dishing out authentic mouth-watering heritage street foods.

Salceda has sustained strong support for the promotion of culinary tourism, urging Albayanos to patronize more local products to further strengthen the native industry, “their homegrown chefs and restaurateurs” and help push their promotion worldwide.

Albay had earned world recognition as a global tourist destination, with its interesting culinary assets as among its highlights, and had received various awards in tourism and related fields in recent years. (by Johnny C. Nunez, PNA)