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PH’s largest baking fair signals the revival of local baking industry after pandemic

By Johanna Añes-de la Cruz, The Philippine STAR Published Mar 17, 2023 2:50 pm

Bakery Fair 2023 served as the comeback of the Philippines’ largest fair on baking, signaling the revival of the local baking industry after the onslaught of the pandemic and amid soaring inflation.

Held from March 2 to 4, the fair is a civic project of the Filipino Chinese Bakery Association (FCBAI) to promote and uplift the Philippine bakery industry and support socio-economic development. After all, it was the Chinese migrants who brought flour to Philippine shores and served as the country's earliest bakers during the Spanish colonial era.

The recently concluded event had been the biggest and most star-studded in its history with 136 exhibitors covering a full hectare of the World Trade Center. Top baking companies, bakers, chefs, and experts had been in attendance to give talks or demos.

Among those who showed their support to the fair were Vice President Sara Duterte Carpio; Senators Imee Marcos, Loren Legarda, Sherwin Gatchalian, Mark Villar, and Koko Pimentel; former Manila Mayor Isko Moreno; Manila Vice Mayor Yul Servo; the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) vice president Cecilio Pedro; Chinese Embassy minister counsellor Yang Guoliang and second secretary Bai Xun; and US wheat officials led by Bill Flory and Joseph K. Sowers.

Also in attendance were top leaders of bakery associations from Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Cambodia, among others.

A total of 21,000 attendees visited Bakery Fair 2023 to view the 36 exhibits and to participate in competitions, seminars, demos, and other events.

The fair shone the spotlight on new trends and technologies in the world of baking as well as tips on baking, like how akers can prolong their products’ shelf lives without using preservatives.

It also served as a platform where those part of the baking industry can network and share information with one another, especially aspiring bakers and entrepreneurs.

One of the highlights of the event is the FCBAI Bakers’ Cup Wedding Cake Competition 2023 which had the theme “Kasalang Pinoy.”

Perie’s Bakehouse of Lucban emerged as the grand champion with a cash prize worth P80,000. The winning team was led by St. Anne College Lucena graduate Luisito A. Cudanin Jr., with Aristeo A. Laguador and Glodemer M. Langusad.

Another key event in the fair was the Angel Cup-Bread Display Competition that highlighted the making of a bread showpiece, artisan and healthy breads, and sweet doughs with filling.

Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas bagged the top prize with team members Yaunnie Casiano, Lealalen Celemen, and Jastin Babaran. The contest was a joint project of FCBAI and Angel Yeast.

Both competitions highlighted the FCBAI’s advocacy to support micro-, small-, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) and the youth.

Bakery Fair 2023 was organized by the FCBAI led by president Gerik Chua, executive vice-president Chris Ah, first vice president Wilson Lee Flores and Secretary General Jerry Midel .

FCBAI is part of the FFCCCII, the umbrella business and civic organization of 170 Filipino Chinese chambers of commerce and trade organizations from Aparri to Tawi-Tawi.

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