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Bohol Food Products in Demand in Canada
« on: May 16, 2008, 05:35:09 PM »
By the Bohol Chronicle

The recent representation of the Bohol Poverty Reduction Management Office (BPRMO) to the international food festival in Canada netted an international market for Bohol food products.

BPRMO Head Antonieto Pernia and Arnold Labunog, owner of Jojie's Bakeshop and president of Bohol Processed Foods (ProFoods) arrived last week from a two-week trip to Canada to attend the international food festival where they negotiated with big-time importers who could open a North American market for Bohol exotic food products.

Among the local products that see a market in Canada are coconuts, marine products- -particularly galonggong or burot-burot, processed ubi products, and peanuts.

Pernia said the trade facilitation office of the Canadian government helped endorse Bohol products to big-time importers in Canada.

Pernia met with two of the big importers based in Canada, one of them was Prassad, a Guyanese who is considered second top importer in the entire North America and Caribbean.

According to Pernia, Henrique Sia, vice-president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, helped him out in the negotiations with the importers.

During the occasion, Pernia said he also introduced Bohol food products to one of the top importer of Filipino goods in North America, particularly Canada, after learning having observed that Bohol has the products that are in demand there.

One of it is grated coconut that the Prassad's import company have been importing in bulk.

Pernia assured that there will be no difficulty in selling Bohol products there. Boholano suppliers just need to "vacuum pack" the goods so they remain fresh when they reach Canada, he said.

The BPRMO head also said he got Prassad's assurance that unless Boholano producers would fail to come up with the required volume, he will exclusively import products from Bohol.

He was even willing to sign a MOA that Bohol will be his exclusive source of grated coconut and grated cassava which is also abundant in Bohol.

Prassad, according to Pernia, intends to regularly import a container of grated cassava every month.

The Canadian market reaches the Caribbean areas, but its supply could hardly meet the demand of coconut products at this time that it relies only on the Jamaican supply.

This is where Bohol, which has a considerable hectarage of coconut plantation, can come in, Pernia said.

Pernia also said he was able to negotiate with Allan Yao, a Filipino importer of burot-burot, other marine products, and coconut products.

Yao needs a container of galonggong or burot burot every week, for consumption in Canada and wants to open a market for all the marine products from Bohol, Pernia said.

With Sia's support, Yao automatically closed the deal and said Bohol producers can immediately deliver the initial stock as soon as pricing agreement and packing requirements will be in place.

Another local product that sees good market in Canada is the juice from young coconuts or locally known as butong.

Pernia said he was also able to observe a good market for coconut juice in Canada where the consumption reaches an average of at least two containers every 15 days.

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