SA Businesspeople Return from Russia with Hopes of Deals

A group of more than thirty South African businesspeople who participated in the World Food Moscow that ended in the Russian capital on Friday, arrive in South Africa today with high hopes that the solid trade leads they generated will develop into concrete deals soon. The group’s participation at the four-day food and beverage trade fair was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.

The Head of Marketing and Exports at Rugani Juices, Mr Wesley Browne, who participated in the exhibition for the first time, says he was impressed by the warm reception that the South African companies experienced at the exhibition.

“It was really a pleasant experience to be part of the trade fair. It was fulfilling to see how well the South African group was received as our stands were always busy. As a company, we were happy with the opportunity to have members of the public tasting our juice products as that enabled us to gauge the response of the consumers to our product and how well it will be received in the international market. We are returning home with numerous solid leads from distributors, buyers, restaurants, retailers and hotels from Russia, Azerbaijan and Belarus who have expressed interest in our products,” adds Browne.

As a first time participant in any international exhibition, the Director of Chill-E Organics, Ms Tasneep Latib says she was almost overwhelmed by the magnitude of World Food Moscow.

“I am grateful for this extremely amazing experience. I was totally blown away by this opportunity but it was really worthwhile as I learnt a lot and gained immeasurable experience. My red sesame sauce proved to be an instant attraction amongst the consumers at the trade fair. This was picked up by three companies which expressed keen interest in importing it to Russia,” says Latib.

The Managing Director of Koopmanskloof Wingerde, Mr Rydal Jeftha was participating in World Food Moscow for the third time with the aim of increasing the presence of his wines in the Russian market, and finding new buyers from other countries.

“I first came to Russia in 2016 with a trade mission to St Petersburg organised by the dti. That was when I made a breakthrough into the Russian market. My experience with this market is that the SA wines are delivering very well in terms of quality and price. That is the reason I keep coming here in order to push for more penetration of the market. This year I have been approached by companies from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, South Korea and China. This provides us with an opportunity to spread our footprint to new markets in the region and beyond,” says Jeftha.

The first day of the World Food Moscow was the most productive for the Chief Executive Officer of Energy Supplements, Ms Sarita Gericke who managed to sign a deal with a company that she met at the SIAL Food Exhibition in France last year.

“This confirms the importance of making contacts and establishing relations with businesspeople from other countries in these shows. It does not necessarily mean that you will return with a deal from each show but each contact you establish may yield results later. The businessperson I introduced myself to in France decided to come over here and place an order for one of our products. There are three other strong leads from companies that are also keenly interested in our nutritional supplements,” says Gericke.

South African businesspeople during a briefing session with the SA Foreign Economic Representative in Russia, Mr Moloko Leshaba (extreme right), at World Food Moscow, Russia.

Mr Sidwell Medupe – Departmental Spokesperson
Tel : (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

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