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Sysco interested in PH products

Houston-based Sysco Corp., a major player in the food service industry, plans to import coconut water and other agriculture products from the Philippines. “We need to figure out where the market is in the US.  We have to talk to our companies [Los Angeles, New York and Miami] if they can identify the restaurants to sell these products. It will be a small volume to start and develop,” Sysco senior director for international John Pollock said in an interview during the recent International Food Exhibition Philippines. IFEX Philippines is a trade event organized by the Trade Department through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions and in partnership with the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Service of the Agriculture Department. It showcases Asia’s tropical food and serves as a platform for the Philippines’ fresh, processed, Halal-certified and organic food sectors. Pollock said while coconut water caught their interest during the event, they were also interested in other coconut products and tropical fruit juices, especially calamansi. Pollock said part of their itinerary included visit to AgriNurture Inc., Franklin Baker and Atson Coco Inc. “We have to go back and present what we have seen here to the buyers in the US. If there is interest, we come back,” Pollock added. Sysco is involved in the marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, hotels and inns and other foodservice and hospitality businesses. The company posted $42 billion in sales and $1.1 billion in net earnings in 2012. “They [Sysco] will closely work with us to build the industry. They don’t just want to go and buy [food products]. They want to build a sustainable relationship,” Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Los Angeles trade representative Archimedes Gomez said in an interview. He said coconut water had various uses in the US—as  coconut juice, as water for coffee and mix for chasers.
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