The South African businesspeople who participated in the Gulfood Exhibition that took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from Monday, 20 February to Friday, 24 February 2023 are pleased with the trade leads that they generated. They have recorded over 4 000 promising trade leads that they hope will soon generate into substantially tangible deals.

The sixteen agro-processing companies, including the South African Fruit and Vegetables Canners Export Council (SAFVEC), showcased their products in a National Pavilion that was set up by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic).

The main objective of the support provided by the dtic through the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance scheme (EMIA) was to create a platform for these companies to develop export markets for their products.

The Founder of Makhamisa Foods and a Black Industrialists Programme beneficiary, Mr Terence Leluma, who manufactures unique chilli-based condiments, was part of the SA delegation. According to him, the show was good and his company’s products received huge interest from countries such as Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, India and African countries such as Malawi and Kenya.

“The UAE market received our products well and believe our products deserve to be in the on the global food industry platform. We met a number of prospective clients and secured strong leads. We will be back for follow-up meetings in a month or two. We are excited to have forged these relations. Dubai is the centre of trade and I am honoured to have been offered the opportunity to fly the South African flag high in this part of the world and take our products to the global market,” expressed Leluma.

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Naturezone, that produces fitness waters and herbal teas from natural ingredients with have zero calories,  Mr Peter Foulis, has described his participation in the show as remarkable.

“We have received quality enquiries and leads. We are expecting great things to follow as we follow up on these leads. We appointed three agents at the show for UAE, Russia and India. Our neighbouring countries Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia have also shown interest in our drinks,” Fourie.

The Project Manager of  RFG Foods, the manufacturers of canned fruits and vegetables, and juices Ms Thasha Thaver, says her stand received hundreds of visitors with a lot of interest from the Middle East and Africa. Some existing customers came to look for new products that we have introduced. It was a great week. We have seen the value of attending the show.  Being present at the trade shows has improved our turnover and offered a vehicle to create new relations. More South African companies should attend and see what the rest of the world is doing, benchmark and continue to improve products so as to offer the customers innovative products,” shared Thasia.

The 2023 Gulfood exhibition is regarded as the largest food and beverage trade exhibition in the Middle East.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Mr Fikile Majola, South Africa’s participation in the Dubai Expo 2020 was part of SA’s efforts to revive the economy and create opportunities for inclusive growth. It paved a way to further unlock opportunities by leveraging more trade events in the region, such as Gulfood, which offers a follow-through opportunity for South African firms.

Some of the South African businesspeople who participated in the Gulfood Exhibition 2023 edition.

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
Tel: (012) 394 1643
Mobile: 079 5083 457
WhatsApp: 074 2998 512
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)

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