For cineastes, New Zealand is synonymous to Middle Earth and “The Lord of the Rings.” For many Filipinos, however, little is known of it, save the fact that there are more sheep than its 4.4 million human population.
That’s what New Zealand Ambassador Reuben Levermore said at the preview of the coming trade fair Experience New Zealand. The three-day event opens Friday, June 20, at Ayala Malls’ Glorietta Activity Center.
“The fair last year was well-received because it gave Filipinos the chance to sample some of our products like our wines, meat, dairy products and honey. A firm favorite last year was our ice cream. This year we want to show a wider range of products, and I’m thankful to our suppliers who stepped up to the job,” Levermore said.
An added feature of the fair this year is the participation of Singapore Airlines, Destinations Unlimited and 11 participating travel agencies, which will offer tours of New Zealand. These tours range from four-day, three-night packages to seven-day, six-night packages, including round-trip airfares via Singapore Airlines (SIA) starting at $1,071.
Incidentally, SIA and Ayala Malls have an ongoing promotion in which shoppers who purchase a Singapore Airlines round-trip air ticket to either Auckland or Christchurch and include P2,000 worth of single or accumulated receipts from the mall have the chance to win a New Zealand tour package. The promo runs until June 22.
Tickets can be purchased at www.singaporeair.com, SQMobile App, Singapore Airlines/Silkair ticket and reservations offices, and through travel agents.
Land of milk and honey
The fair this year will feature almost 20 exhibitors of various products, including the world-renowned Manuka honey. This special type of honey is cultivated from bees that favor the New Zealand manuka bush, which grows on mountains and offers the highest antibacterial properties among honey varieties.
Manuka Health distributor Charles Ley said in an earlier press event that aside from organic honey, there are other products like Manuka Honey MGO 400 with Cyclopower, a natural bioactive booster known to help dietary supplements work better.
“Cyclopower comes in a chewable tablet form which makes it ideal for diabetics and prediabetics,” Ley said. The product, which is available in two variants—for mouth and throat health, and for digestive health—was studied and developed by Manuka Health New Zealand and Japanese scientists led by professor Keiji Terao.
New Zealand wines distributed by Don Revy Pty., Future Trade/Forth & Tay and Zen Asia will also be available.
As for his favorite drink, Levermore said it has to be sauvignon blanc: “It’s light and sweet and perfect for this weather.”
Fonterra Brands, formerly known as New Zealand Dairy Group, will showcase its butter, cheeses, milk and other dairy products.
Unicomm Ingredients will present butter sheets under the Canary brand, which are exported to bakeries, restaurants, hotels and airlines worldwide.
Other products to look out for are beverages and juices, yogurt, corned beef, ice cream and fresh fruit like kiwis, persimmons, apples and cherries.
Second largest market
The Philippines is New Zealand’s second largest market for dairy products, behind China. In fact, 71 percent of all New Zealand exports to the Philippines consists of dairy products.
Highlighting the fair opening is a special Kapa Haka performance by a traditional Maori arts group at 6 p.m. Friday.
“We invite Filipinos to come and experience New Zealand at Glorietta—there will be top quality food and wine, as well as some traditional New Zealand culture,” Levermore said in a statement. “This is also our way of inviting Filipinos to visit New Zealand, one of the world’s top tourist destinations.”