Push to open more markets for Negrense products on

The Visayan Daily Star
September 25, 2019
Invest Negros Occidental - Negros Trade Fair Manila
Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva, Sugar Regulatory Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica, Association of Negros Producers chairperson Christina Gaston, Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer,ANP president Arlene Infante, Michael Edward Claparols and Ayala Malls president Jennylle Tupaz ring the bell to signal the start of the 34th Negros Trade Fair at Glorietta 2 of the Ayala Center in Makati City.*

MAKATI CITY – The push is on to bring more Negrense products to national and global markets.

The Negros Occidental provincial government and the Association of Negros Producers are set to work together to help more producers from the 31 towns and cities of the province improve and market their products, with three new showrooms expected to open.

Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, in his speech at the 34th Negros Trade Fair Governor’s Night at Glorietta 2 here yesterday, said “I am a believer in the Negrense talent and products, and I know that with proper opportunities and innovation, our products can compete both in the local and global markets.”

He said “it is high time that we seriously reinvent to show the world that Negros is more than just sugar, that Negros is the place where you can succeed if you try, where a healthy economy can advance by what we make and innovate.”

This year’s trade fair theme, “Timeless Traditions”, is very true with regards to the Negrense flair, he said. “Our very rich traditions and history give our present products the character that sets them apart from the rest,” he said.

He stressed the need to remember and show gratitude to the Negrense women who faced seemingly insurmountable odds 34 years ago to start the Negros Trade Fair to provide alternative sources of income to Negrense sugar farmers, who were badly hit by the global sugar crisis.

“The story of the Negros Trade Fair (NTF) is one of resilience, ingenuity, hope and courage of the Negrense spirit,” he said, that has opened opportunities for small and medium enterprises in local and international platforms.

“Please continue innovating and creating, and always aim for excellence,” he told the Negrense producers.

He also thanked the cities of Bacolod, Silay, Talisay, Cadiz and Bago that have booths in this year’s trade fair, for their active participation.

Former Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District), economic consultant of the province, said the provincial government and the ANP will work together in helping producers in towns and cities of Negros Occidental upgrade and market their products.

They will provide the producers of Negros Occidental with the link to the market, he said.

ANP will operate showrooms of Negros products at the Bacolod-Silay Airport, Magikland in Silay City, and at the South Capitol Road in Bacolod City, Benitez said.

Christina Gaston, ANP chairperson, said they have been asked to help develop the products for the 31 LGUs of the province.

“That is something that we are developing together, it is in the works…former congressman Albee wants to bring the products from local to global, that is a big challenge and we’re very excited to do that,” she said.

ANP president Arlene Infante said the 34th NTF has 64 booths and she is upbeat about their sales. However, they have to tone down their expectations a little because of the ongoing renovations at Glorietta that has given the trade fair less space, especially for its food section this year.

ANP directly and indirectly creates 20,000 jobs, Infante said.

Michael Edward Claparols, chairperson of the 34th NTF, said with this year’s theme, producers connect past Negrense traditions to the future. “We are connecting old blends with the new,” he said.

Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) called the 34th Negros Trade Fair “fantastic, to be able to generate this kind of support and awareness and exposure for the province for all these years. I hope it gets bigger and bigger in the years to come”.

Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said the trade fair promotes Negros Occidental well through the products its showcases.

He is upbeat about ANP helping other producers in the province improve their products.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said he saw how the Negros Trade Fair developed from the start, and how far and wide it has reached.

Sugar Regulatory Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica said what the Negrense producers have achieved is worth replicating in other sugar producing provinces.

Also present at the trade fair governor’s night were Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva (Neg. Occ., 2nd District), Rep. Juliet Marie Ferrer (Neg. Occ., 4th District) and mayors and board members of Negros Occidental.*