BULLPEN Hanoi’s southern neighbor, the Philippines, has been a major supplier of rice to the United States, and now it’s becoming increasingly important to the U.S. food system.
Collins Western Food, a Chinese-owned food producer based in southern Vietnam, said it’s also one of a handful of Westerners who are sourcing the majority of their food from China, a country that has become a major food-importing power in Southeast Asia.
Collins Western is not only sourcing food from the Philippines but also from Vietnam, which is also the main market for U.K. and French brands like L’Oreal, Ben & Jerry’s, and Oreo.
But it’s a new market for Collins, which also recently signed a deal to export its American-grown wheat to the Philippines.
The Philippines, a small country of 7.5 million people, has the world’s second-largest wheat crop, after Vietnam, according to the World Bank, which expects the Philippines to export about $1 billion worth of grain this year.
But that’s not the only part of the country that’s getting its food from Collins.
Collis Western has been importing rice from Vietnam for about 15 years, but it’s only recently began to source food from Vietnam.
The company’s CEO said the company’s first shipments of grain to the country are for rice and beans.
Collises president and founder Brian Smith told Bloomberg News that Collins’ wheat and rice exports were initially planned to start in 2016, but that it had to delay because of the typhoon that struck the Philippines in November, the typhoons that have ravaged the Philippines and made landfall in the country.
Collis is also looking to import rice for a future shipment of rice and wheat.
Collens grain, which was sourced from Vietnam from 2012 through 2016, will be sent to the Phillipines as a one-time supply.
Collin said it plans to ship the grain in 2017.
Collens wheat, which has been sourced from Thailand since 2016, was initially slated to be sent in 2017, but is now likely to be ready in 2019.
Colliins’ rice will be used in other products like noodles, pasta, and rice breads.
The Philippine government, which in March approved an agreement to sell Collins wheat to Vietnam as a long-term food export, is working on a plan to increase its rice exports.
Collin’s deal with the Philippine government is part of a broader push to diversify the Philippines’ food exports from Vietnam to other countries.
A recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, said the Philippines could export rice to Brazil, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates in the next five years, and to the Middle East and Central Asia in the 2040s.