ASIDE from promoting truly Negros products, the just-opened trade fairs in the province are also seen to help strengthen the country’s food and other industries.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who spoke at the opening rites of the 1st National Trade Fair on Food Safety at SM City Bacolod Atrium Monday, July 17, said the province is pleased and honored to host the gathering which showcases the best of Negros.
“We hope that this trade fair will serve as an ideal venue for all stakeholders to sitdown, share, establish linkages and build partnership to strengthen food industry in the country,” Marañon said.
He added that the food industry has been one of the province’s strongest programs in pushing for economic growth and development.
Marañon said the province stands proud as home to producers of excellent and diversely products which have established distinction in both domestic and international markets.
“Local producers are earning respect and admiration from thousands of food enthusiasts and of those from related industries like organic agriculture and tourism,” the governor said.
The trade fair, which will run until July 23, is part of the two-day 2nd National Conference on Food Safety being held at SMX Convention Center located at SM City Bacolod Annex.
Aside from showcasing good agricultural practices model farms, it is also a convergence of local manufacturers of food and other products.
Interior Undersecretary Jesus Hinlo Jr., who attended the opening ceremony, underscored the need of producing and buying Filipino products.
Hinlo, who is a Negrense, said the country has been importing many things which could be produced locally including ships, automobiles, and even firearms.
“We have millions of Filipinos who need jobs so why not produce what we need. Our role as consumers is to buy local,” he added.
For her part, Christina Gaston, president of Association of Negros Producers (ANP), said the goal of the trade fair is to bring Negrense products to the market, whether domestic or export.
Gaston said the organization also shares the vision of being able to source all the needs of producers locally.
“We likewise encourage consumers to buy local products to support Philippine manufacturers and give jobs to our people,” she added.
Aside from the 1st National Trade Fair on Food Safety, the 1st Negros Island Region MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) Exhibit and Bulawan Awards Trade Fair also opened in the same venue yesterday.
All in all, 37 MSMEs in the region are participating in the week-long activity.
Also present during the event was Negros Oriental First District Representative Jocelyn Limkaichong and other local government officials and representatives.
Simultaneous with the opening of the trade fair, the ANP also kicked off the search for this year’s Bulawan Awards.
Themed “Food for Thought,” the activity is a prelude to the 32nd Negros Trade Fair to be held at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City in September.
Maxima Madera, chairperson of the 27th Bulawan Awards, said the activity is showcasing the innovative Negrense products from different sectors like fashion and garments, natural and organic, gifts and houseware, furniture, and food.
“The Bulawan Awards has been a venue to highlight the innovativeness of local producers particularly in looking for new ways and creating products with timely and fresh concepts and designs,” Madera sad.
She reiterated that innovation is a pressing need for local products to be more competitive amid the challenges brought by the Asean economic integration.
The Bulawan Trade Fair will also run until July 23 while the awarding ceremony will be held on July 20.
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