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CITEM holds IFEX PH Media Preview and Katha Awards for Food Awarding Ceremony


The 17th IFEX Philippines is happening on May 10-12, 2024

Where there is good food, there is happiness.

IFEX Philippines knows this that’s why its media preview, held on April 26, at the PICC in Pasay City, was a grand salu-salo no less. 

Spearheaded by CITEM (Center for International Trade Missions and Expositions), the lead promotions arm for export of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the event showcased the participating food, beverages, and food products in the upcoming IFEX 2024 happening at the World Trade Center-Manila in Pasay City from May 10-12, 2024.

The event also paid homage to newly developed Philippine food products and food applications that satisfy three major criteria: Packaging Design and Innovation; Product Innovation, and Market Demand and readiness through the Katha Awards Food (formerly known as Trendy Awards).

For 40 years now, CITEM has established the country’s image as a premier destination for quality export products and services. It continues to set the highest standards of creativity, excellence, and innovation to achieve competitiveness in the home, fashion, lifestyle, food, creative, and sustainability sectors. CITEM is committed to developing, nurturing, and promoting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), brands, designers, and manufacturers by implementing an integrated approach to export marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.

For its signature program under the FOODPhilippines banner, CITEM will stage IFEX Philippines 2024: It’s a salu-salo! – where one can find the best flavors in this 17th edition of the biggest international trade show for food and ingredients. This year’s IFEX Philippines expects to bring in a new stream of importers along with its regular community of buyers and visitors from the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East regions. 

CITEM also regularly participates in overseas trade fairs to showcase the latest offerings of Philippine companies engaged in the food industry in various regions, such as Asia Pacific, Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. It recently concluded its Philippine showcase in Gulfood 2024 in Dubai last February.



Participation and attendance to IFEX Philippines 2024 will allow buyers, importers, and other retailers to easily connect with over 500 participating exhibitors and industry insiders with CITEM’s dedicated B2B and digital trade show components, which include incentive programs, talks and seminars, and other related technical engagements. There will be a plethora of food offerings, one that is in tune with the consumer pulse toward more nutrition-rich, natural, culture-based,  and convenient offerings and innovative practices. The country expects local exporters to benefit further, given the strong agricultural supply capability for many of today’s top healthy in-demand food and ingredients, namely: banana, cacao, coffee, coconut, mango, pineapple, and tuna. 

The Philippines for years has been fostering a steady growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) engaging in the food export industry. These local businesses have become consistent players in various food segments, thereby strengthening the country’s trade reputation as one of the go-to sourcing destinations for premium quality food and ingredients.

As challenges in the food and beverage (F&B) scene continue to evolve toward more conscionable, healthy, and sustainable products and services, so does the race for more equitable opportunities for food makers, distributors, and consumers. Market indicators aid in building the necessary bilateral trade relations with regional neighbors in congruence with the country’s trade laws and regulations. These export-driven initiatives have been built on a   reliable network of industry partners, whose vast resources are instrumental to the success and growth of local exhibitors in the global and local scenes.



Christian Eyde Moeller, president and CEO of Lionheart Farms, received the trophy

“The Power of Slow” by CÓCOES was adjudged Katha Awards for Food 2024 Best Beverage.  

“This prestigious recognition reinforces our commitment to delivering exceptional quality and taste in every sip of The Power of Slow beverage. Crafted with care and expertise, our drink embodies the essence of indulgence and wellness, offering a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life,” said Christian Eyde Moeller, president and CEO of Lionheart Farms.

The Power of Slow by CÓCOES is a Palawan-made all-natural beverage crafted from coconut flower sap, a natural ingredient obtained from the blossoms of the coconut palm. The beverage offers a refreshing and unique taste experience while supporting local farmers and promoting eco-friendly practices. It will be available soon at select partner retailers nationwide and on the Lionheart Farms’ e-commerce site.  

Ready-to-eat Healthy Snack, Dona Maria Brown Rice Puffs was also awarded in the Cereals and Cereal Products Category. Doña Maria Brown Rice Puffs are crunchy oven-baked puff snacks made from Doña Maria Jasponica Brown Rice. It’s GLUTEN-FREE, NO MSG and a first of its kind to be manufactured in the Philippines!

Buenas Halo-Halo Series made it as a Finalist for Food Ingredients

Buenas Dried Leaves got the nod for Fruits and Vegetables, Seaweeds, and Plant-Based Meat Alternatives Category. While Buenas Gourmet Bagoong was chosen Finalist for Fish and Seafood Products Category. Likewise, Buenas Halo-Halo Series also made it as a Finalist for Food Ingredients, Condiments and Sweeteners, Condiments and Sweeteners Category

Bestfriend Goodies, a local pasalubong producer in Cagayan de Oro City, also emerged victorious after it was awarded for the Ready-to-Eat Savories and Home Meal Replacements. Bestfriend Goodies won the award, the first in Region 10, for its Bean Appetit Monggo with Squash in Coconut Milk and Dilis.

Ube Cream Liqueur, a product of Destileria Barako from the Panay Island also made it as one of the hallmarks of innovation, creativity and excellence in elevating Filipino craftsmanship in the culinary landscape.

This writer with Phil Aidan Cruz, Research & Development Manager of Herbanext Laboratories, Inc., the manufacturer of Daily Apple.
Daily Apple made it to the list of finalists with it's chocolate-coated candied Roselle Flower

For complete list of winners, visit the official FB page at:


International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines

#ubecreamliqueur. #bestfriendgoodies

 #DrinkPowerOfSLOW  #CÓCOES  #LionheartFarms

#Buenas  #Buenasdriedvegetables

#DonaMariaRice  #MoreThanJustRice

#dailyapple #herbanextlaboratories

#IFEXConnect  #IFEXPhilippines  #FOODPH  #Food  #Foodies  #IFEX2024 #IFEXPhilippines2024  #ItsASaluSalo  #SaluSalo  #BigTasteReveal







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