The Philippines has another reason to celebrate before the year ends as Salon International de l’alimentation or SIAL Middle East 2018 has named Instayum Mushroom Chips as the bronze awardee for the SIAL Innovation Contest!
Appetissant Food Corporation, one of the subsidiaries of JNRM Corporation in the Philippines and the creators of “Instayum”, was part of the delegation from the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture for SIAL Middle East 2018 together with nine other Filipino food companies.
JNRM Group of Companies Chief Operating Officer Nerissa C. Larrobis who is also the daughter of its founder/owner, shared that her dad once envisioned to simply assist farmers to promote, repackage, and sell their products to the market. “Dad ko po kasi, he had a vision of helping a lot of farmers so he started this business with only a capital of Php 800, 38 years ago sa Manila,” said Larrobis.
Their winning product is an innovative take on mushrooms as it transforms to a tasty snack that fits all age groups. “This snack is a healthy variation. It will help a lot of Filipino farmers and it’s helping a lot of OFWs na bumalik. 4 months continuous growth ng mushroom business so ang problem lang po back then was there were no processors – so ang sabi ng dad ko, why not we make processed food out of it and export it? Dun po nag come up yung idea,” shares Larrobis.
The snack was chosen out of 30 shortlisted products from 43 countries.
Promoting healthy and organic Filipino food to the world
Addressing the Philippine delegation, Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana lauded their efforts on promoting Filipino food that’s healthy and organic during the exhibition. “We want you to observe what you think you can export here – there’s always a need. We also have to see what kind of food they (UAE citizens and expats) eat because they are also conscious about their health.
Agriculture Attache Gil Herico shared that the products presented at SIAL Middle East displays the Filipinos’ drive to recreate food products and transform them into products worthy to be consumed by the whole world. “There’s a lot of innovation and creativity involved in the process of creating these food products. Here we have seen that if you do the proper preparations with, let’s say mushrooms, dried mangoes or coco sugar for instance, they can be transformed into world class products,” said Herico.
He furthers that the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture operates by assisting businesses from the grassroots to help raise their profiles and bring forth their products to an international audience. “The Department of Agriculture is very much keen on helping the small players – because once you help the small players, you will also be helping the cooperatives and the normal farmers.”
SIAL Middle East 2018, the fastest-growing food, beverage and hospitality event in the region, held its ninth edition at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) last December 10 – 12. The 10 Philippine companies who participated under the delegation of the Department of Agriculture includes Alenter Food Inc., Alter Trade, Audrey’s Confectioneries, GCB Food Products, Ilocos Food Products, JNRM Corporation, JPM Eco Farm Inc., Feb20 Enterprises/Mandaue Nutritious, Pasciolco Agri Ventures, and T.P. Food Processing Corporation.