PH starts trial exports of fruits and veggies to SG

Expect to see more Philippine fruits and vegetables in Singapore grocery stores.  The Philippines will embark on a trial shipment of a variety of vegetables and fruits to Singapore by February, officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

Jennifer Remonquillo, officer in charge of the DA’s high value commercial crops (HVCC), said that the trial shipment will involve “a few boxes” of pineapples, bananas and squash.

“They want to see the quality of the products we will ship to them. If they approve it, then that’s the time we will finalize discussions on the volume,” said Remonquillo in an interview at the sidelines of the celebration of the 82nd anniversary of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) held in Manila.

She noted that a Singaporean company, Green and Fresh Pte. Ltd., has inquired from the DA about importing local vegetables. Representatives of Green and Fresh Pte. Ltd led by its Chief Executive Officer Dr. Michael Lau visited vegetable farms in Benguet and Quezon last year 2011.

Remonquillo said Singapore is interested to import squash, coriander, capsicum, bananas and papayas from the Philippines.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, for his part, said the government is now working on a scheme to ensure that local farmers will be able to meet Singapore’s required volume for vegetables.

The DA noted that the Singaporean firm requires around 1,500 kilograms of coriander weekly and 4 metric tons  of squash.

Remonquillo said representatives from Green and Fresh Pte. Ltd. will be back in February to formalize and finalize the deal.

DA officials noted that Green and Fresh Pte. Ltd. supplies around 80 percent of Singapore’s vegetable requirements.

The company was forced to look for other suppliers for vegetables after Thailand, its major supplier, was inundated by flooding. The floods paralyzed transport and shipment of goods produced from Thailand.



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