Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Event Post: Aussie Fresh Fest: Australian citrus fruits at Rustan's and Shopwise this August

Last August 7, 2015, I was invited by Ms. Tina Sendin of the Australian embassy to witness the launch and promotion of imported Australian citrus fruits. The venue was in Shopwise Alabang at 3 pm. This event is part of an ongoing campaign called the Aussie Fresh Fest, in which a number of Australia's prime agricultural commodities are marketed in select supermarkets in the Philippines, particularly Rustan's and Shopwise.

During the press conference, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell was delighted to share with the media that Australia's citrus fruits are of a very high caliber in terms of quality, safety, and taste. He noted the similarities between Filipino and Australian culture when it comes to a highly discriminating preference for fresh and natural fruit produce. He also guaranteed that Australian standards in growing agricultural produce, coupled with its high grade food safety standards deliver nothing but the best oranges. He even mentioned that their government can trace the origins of these Australian fruit growers in order to achieve the aforementioned standards. Lastly, he stated that the Australian crop growing environment has been very favorable in cultivating these fruits.

Shopwise and Rustan's supermarkets have been well known with providing customers with produce that are of excellent quality. In line with this commitment, they have imported these citrus fruits to provide more variety to consumers and encourage people to make healthier choices when it comes to food consumption. Rustan’s Supercenters, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Pierre Deplanck recognizes that Australian oranges are some of the best in the world. He noted that the oranges serve to bolster the products offered by the supermarket giant and are perfect for families who want to spend a premium on their health and well-being.

What can one do with oranges? There are a variety of choices. It may be eaten as a healthy snack or used in salads or shakes. One can never go wrong with oranges. It is a good source of Vitamin C to protect one's immune system.

After the press conference, our contingent got to enjoy cooked and fresh agricultural Aussie products. The buffet had the signature baked Lamb Shank with Potato Cutlets smothered with Mint Sauce, grass-fed Aussie Roast beef sandwich bites, cheesecake made with New Zealand milk, and tomato salsa on French bread. Our drinks included fresh orange juice and lemon mojito. We even had Aussie wine to boot. The food was really tasty. It carried a very high level of distinction and taste from normal Filipino fare. For starters, the beef and the lamb shanks were cooked thoroughly. The meat was very tender even if the dish was well-done. The taste was top-notch. Apart from the normal meaty taste you get from beef, you can also notice that it wasn't too salty or sweet. The cheesecake was great too. It didn't taste like it had a lot of preservatives. As for their flagship drinks, I'd say that the citrus fruits were extracted thoroughly to provide us with a non-sugary and pulpy sweetness. Overall, I had no qualms about the food. I do hope to try something like that next time.

One can see that this event showcases another important landmark in the economic relations between the Philippines and Australia. Originally Australian and New Zealand beef has been the prime import commodity to the Philippines. The advent of citrus fruit importation from Australia is also a prime testament to growing economic activity between the two countries.

The month-long Aussie Fresh Fest also includes other Australian beef and lamb products and will run in all Rustan’s Supermarket, Marketplace by Rustan’s, and Shopwise branches until August 31.

Rustan’s Supermarket, Marketplace by Rustan’s, and Shopwise are all managed by Rustan Supercenters, Inc., a member of the Dairy Farm International Group.

Special thanks to:
Ms. Tina Sendin of the Australian Embassy

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