By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

September 10, 2023 - The Philippines has completed the requirements for the ruling process for entry of Philippine hass avocado to the Republic of Korea following the Official Notification No 2023-33 of the ROK Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) on 08 September 2023.

[Left Top photo] Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) Director Gerald Glenn F. Panganiban and Agriculture Attache Ma. Alilia Maghirang in a meeting with the ROK Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs - Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (MAFRA-APQA) officials. [Left Below photo] Newly harvested hass avocado in Mindanao. [Right photo] Agriculture Attache Maghirang during APQA's onsite hass avocado farm inspection in DOLE facilities.
The Philippines may already export hass avocado for the 2023-24 season as it is now compliant with the mutually agreed requirements in the workplan. Following the inspections conducted in February 2023, Philippine fresh hass avocado exports from the Philippines are expected to be sourced from orchards and packing houses of DOLE Philippines in Davao, Bukidnon, and South Cotabato.

Hass avocado enjoys popularity in the Republic of Korea as a nutritional ingredient for salads and sandwiches. It is available at the leading retail stores and the online market, in fresh and frozen forms.

The Department of Agriculture, through the Philippine Agriculture Office in Seoul and in close coordination with DOLE Korea, will support the PH hass avocado promotional activities in ROK to increase consumer awareness and boost its exports.

Philippine Ambassador to Korea Theresa Dizon-De Vega acknowledged the efforts of the Department of Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, the Bureau of Plant Industry headed by Dir. Glenn Gerald Panganiban and Philippine Agriculture Office in Seoul headed by Agriculture Attache Aleli Maghirang for this market access milestone for new agriculture exports to Korea. This undertaking is in support of the priorities of His Excellency President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., concurrently Secretary of Agriculture, for acceleration of agricultural development in the country.

"On the heels of the recently signed Philippines-Republic of Korea FTA, this is a welcome development for furthering our trade relations with Korea. We are expecting commercial shipment of Philippine hass avocado to Korea to commence soon," the Ambassador said.

As one of the largest food importers in the world, the Republic of Korea is a lucrative market for Philippine agricultural exports. In 2022, the ROK ranked as the 4th largest destination of Philippine agri-food exports with USD574.27 million total agri-fisheries exports value. Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines recorded a 9% increase in agri-fisheries exports to Korea in 2022, generating USD 307.47 million trade surplus in favor of the Philippines. A majority of Philippines agri- exports to the Republic of Korea are tropical fruits (56%). In terms of market share, the Philippines supplies 75% of fresh bananas, 100% of fresh pineapples and papayas, and 5% of fresh mangoes to the Republic of Korea. The Philippines is also the sole exporter of fresh okra to the ROK, along with exports of high-value seafood products such as abalone, sea cucumber, octopus, blood cockle, eel, and fishes. END