A Celebration of Filipino Flavors: Insights from Mr. Rene “Rhen” Dimaano at the 2024 DTI-Bagong Pilipinas National Food Fair

Mr. Rene “Rhen” Dimaano, a dedicated advocate for Agriculture advocacy under the Project Eight Initiative, recently attended the 2024 Department of Trade & Industry (DTI)-Bagong Pilipinas National Food Fair. This event, held over five days from July 3 to 7, 2024 at the Megatrade Halls 1-3, 5th Level, SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, was a grand showcase of the rich tapestry of Filipino flavors and culinary heritage. Now in its 10th year, the National Food Fair, billed as the Philippine Cuisine and Ingredients Show, drew a loyal foodie following and presented an opportunity to embark on a delicious adventure.

Rene “Rhen” Dimaano, Agriculture Advocate, The Project Eight Initiative

Organized by the DTI Bureau of Market Development, Promotions, and OTOP (BMDPO) — formerly known as the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP) — in collaboration with the DTI Regional and Provincial Offices, the event served as a premier platform for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the food and beverage industry. This sector forms nearly half of all MSMEs in the Philippines, highlighting the fair’s significant role in promoting local businesses.

Dimaano shared his insights on the overall event, expressing his admiration for the dedication and creativity displayed by Filipino entrepreneurs. He emphasized the importance of supporting MSMEs, which are crucial to the country’s economic growth and sustainability. Dimaano noted the fair’s diverse offerings, from traditional delicacies to innovative food products, showcasing the ingenuity and rich cultural heritage of the Philippines.

Rene “Rhen” Dimaano, Agriculture Advocate, The Project Eight Initiative
DTI Undersecretary Ma. Cristina A. Roque of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Group (MDG)

In a photo with Dimaano is Undersecretary Ma. Cristina A. Roque of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Group (MDG), who delivered an inspirational message during the opening program. Director Marievic M. Bonoan of the Bureau of Market Development Promotions and OTOP also gave her welcome remarks, setting a positive tone for the event.

Mr. Dimaano highlighted several key takeaways from the National Food Fair:

Innovation and Tradition: The fair successfully blended innovation with tradition, presenting modern twists on classic Filipino dishes and ingredients. This approach not only preserves cultural heritage but also attracts a younger, more diverse audience.

Empowerment of MSMEs: The event underscored the vital role of MSMEs in the food and beverage industry. By providing a platform for these enterprises to showcase their products, the fair supports economic empowerment and growth at the grassroots level.

Networking Opportunities: The fair facilitated valuable networking opportunities, allowing MSMEs to connect with potential buyers, investors, and partners. This aspect is crucial for the expansion and sustainability of small businesses.

Sustainable Practices: Many exhibitors highlighted their commitment to sustainable practices, reflecting a growing awareness of environmental responsibility in the food industry. This trend is essential for ensuring the long-term viability of the sector.

Dimaano’s participation in the 2024 DTI-Bagong Pilipinas National Food Fair reaffirms his commitment to advocating for the agriculture sector and supporting local entrepreneurs. The event’s success is a testament to the vibrant and resilient spirit of Filipino MSMEs, promising a bright future for the country’s food and beverage industry.

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