DTI, US-based firm strengthen Filipino salt artisans’ global reach

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

A US-based is helping empower local artisans and revitalize the Philippine salt industry by bringing Filipino culinary sea salts to the international market.

Lennie DiCarlo, founder of XRoads Philippine Sea Salts from San Diego, California, has embarked on a journey to connect with salt producers and craftsmen in Western Visayas, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region VI.

This initiative has been facilitated by DTI Region VI and the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB).

From February 28 to March 1, Ms. DiCarlo engaged with local salt manufacturers in Guimaras and Iloilo to explore avenues for collaboration.

XRoads Philippine Sea Salts is recognized for bringing traditional Filipino culinary sea salts to the international market, enhancing gastronomic experiences in major US restaurants and hotels, all while supporting Filipino communities.

During her visit to the DTI Region VI office, Ms. DiCarlo discussed the potential of the local salt industry for domestic consumption and exports, expressing the importance of DTI’s role in her mission.

“We’ll support the target, definitely, and hopefully we can help the Department of Energy to achieve that target,” said Ms. DiCarlo, highlighting the critical contribution of the government sector in achieving her goals.

The market linkage initiated between local “Tultul” salt producers in Guimaras and XRoads Philippine Sea Salts promises to enhance production standards and provide market promotion assistance, offering a new hope for the Tultul salt industry.

In Miagao, Iloilo, Ms. DiCarlo’s team, accompanied by DTI VI OIC-Regional Director Rachel N. Nufable and other DTI representatives, toured De Paul Artisanal Salt Manufacturing to study the complexities of the salt production process.

The visit to the Indag-an Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative was particularly fruitful, sparking talks of potential partnerships for crafting bayong souvenir bags that blend Filipino tradition with contemporary design.

Ms. DiCarlo’s commitment to fostering mutual benefits for both XRoads and local artisans was evident in her proactive approach to discussions about production capabilities and pricing structures.

She gathered salt samples for US food safety standards testing, covered by XRoads, and provided prototypes of handmade nito boxes for local craftsmen to replicate for future orders.

The vision of Ms. DiCarlo is clear: to integrate Filipino products into the offerings of XRoads Philippine Sea Salts, while sharing the stories and communities behind each product.

This vision aligns with her desire to not just sell products, but also to convey the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines to a global audience, thereby enhancing the authenticity and depth of her brand’s portfolio.

This partnership, orchestrated by the DTI and EMB, is a strategic move to diversify XRoads’ product range and simultaneously create new market opportunities for local artisans.