PRESS OFFICE: Exhibition Management Services
The City of Joburg (CoJ) has launched an exciting and far-reaching strategy to establish itself as a food-manufacturing and agro-processing hub. The city authority will integrate its processing operations with the proven intra-Africa networking capabilities of two hugely successful Johannesburg-based exhibitions: Africa’s Big Seven (AB7) and the Southern African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX). AB7 and SAITEX take place from 19 to 21 June at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand.
“Africa’s Big Seven has a stellar 14-year track record as the continent’s biggest and most influential annual food and beverage exhibition,” says show organiser Christine Davidson, vice president of dmg EMS Africa. “SAITEX has an even longer history as a mixed retail products expo for 22 years. SAITEX has become known as the biggest business opportunities event in Africa. Last year the two shows attracted over 860 exhibitors and almost 14,000 visitors from more than 70 countries.”
Supporting Development Initiatives
The two co-located expos are a key driver for the City of Joburg’s food and agro-processing strategy, which is a component of its Joburg 2040 Integrated Development Plan, says Reginald Pholo, director of trade and investment promotion for the City of Joburg.
“There is a huge need for capacity to transform food into manufactured food,” explains Pholo. “In order to facilitate access to markets, the city is focusing on infrastructure development that includes storage facilities, processing, cold storage and transport. So it’s important to inculcate a culture of food processing, household and national food security and surplus sales to export markets, and AB7/SAITEX are the perfect platforms for this”.
According to Pholo, emerging agricultural and agro-processing businesses are enjoying significant commercial successes from various projects and strategies driven by the City of Joburg – one of these is CoJ’s ongoing participation in the AB7 and SAITEX shows.
“CoJ uses these annual shows as part of its Exporter Awareness Programme, which showcases the many business opportunities for entrepreneurs,” adds Pholo. “This also helps broaden South Africa’s exporter base in the agricultural and agro-processing sectors by developing new and existing exporters.”
Success at SAITEX and AB7
One resulting success story is David Osaro, managing director of Edo Fresh and the Nelson Mandela People’s Market, who migrated to South Africa 24 years ago with virtually no capital, but a sheer determination to succeed. Osaro attributes a key reason for his success to SAITEX.
“Networking opportunities and interactions provided by CoJ are invaluable and have really changed my business,” says Osaro. “My export produce now travels as far as Zambia, Nigeria, Thailand, Qatar and Japan; and the Nelson Mandela People’s Market has grown from a team of just four people to now empowering almost 500.”
Osaro also owns the logistics company Edofreight, which also carries multi-million-rand export orders secured at AB7 and SAITEX through the assistance of City of Joburg and the Joburg Market. “SAITEX is a phenomenal platform that should not be missed,” concludes Pholo.
For the 2016 shows, the City of Joburg plans to host a series of export seminars as well as business-to-business matchmaking sessions in the international business lounge at Gallagher Convention Centre.
“With demand for quality packaged and prepared foods and beverages soaring throughout Africa’s rising middle class markets, now is a good time to get a foot in the gateway to business in Africa, and that’s AB7 and SAITEX,” concludes Davidson.
For more information contact Anina Hough, Exhibition Management Services.
About Africa’s Big Seven (AB7)
AB7 comprises seven sector-focused shows covering all aspects of the food and beverage industry; these include the Pan Africa Retail Trade Exhibition, AgriFood, FoodTech Africa, DrinkTech Africa, Interbake Africa, Retail Solutions Africa and FoodBiz Africa. The halaal pavilion is also a major component of the AB7 expo for companies interested in the latest halaal products and trends. AB7 is co-located with the Southern African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX); both shows offer free visitor entry and dual access.