The Philippines has regained entry of pili nuts into the European market, Malacanang announced on Monday.
In a statement, the Palace said the Philippine can now enter the 27-member states of the European Union (EU) following the issuance of the European Commission Implementing Regulation (EUIR).
The document signed on February 8, 2023 authorizes the inclusion of dried pili nuts in the EU’s list of novelty foods that may be placed on the EU market after it passed the food safety and labelling requirements.
In line with the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to boost high value crops for export, the Department of Agriculture (DA) welcomed the EU issuance that opens market opportunities for the country’s pili industry.
The export of pili nut, which is considered a novelty food or those that have not been significantly used for human consumption in the EU before May 1997, has been temporarily stopped following new EU rules for novel foods in 2015.
The EU market opening will benefit local pili processors and exporters including thousands of pili farmers as this opportunity enables them to gain more income from higher value commodities such as pili.
The Bicol Region is the country’s top pili producer with about 90 percent or 1,796.38 hectares of pili production area and 84 percent or 4,932.60 metric tons of the total volume of production based on the Philippine Statistics Authority data in 2021.
The Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), along with the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), the Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS), the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), and the DA-Bicol Regional Field Office are involved in the pili industry development.
The DA’s attached agencies provide inputs, establish facilities for production, post harvest, processing, and marketing, and conduct research for development and capacity building activities including the adoption of good agricultural practices and food safety standards, among others.
They also help interested producers and exporters in terms of accreditation, development of packing houses, market development and market linkages.
The major export markets for Philippine pili include the United States of America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Canada.