Preparations for the inaugural Food and Drink Technology Africa 2014 trade fair and conference are progressing smoothly and the event will provide an opportunity to expose the African market to international investors and technologies.
The event, which will take place on March 18 and 19, in Johannesburg, will bring together local and interna- tional manufacturers of food processing machinery, beverages technology and packaging machinery, together with South African manufacturers of foodstuffs, liquid food and beverages.
Event organiser German trade fair company Messe München International (MMI) regards Africa as an emerging market with significant potential. The trade fair and conference will assist in establishing cooperation between local businesses and brands, and investors, to bring African and international markets together.
MMI subsidiary MMI South Africa CEO Elaine Crewe says the highlight of the event will be to bring strong brands to South Africa, which is a gateway to Southern Africa, as many food and beverages produced in South Africa are also exported to neighbouring states.
“Africa is becoming an important gateway to the markets of the southern region of the continent. In 2012, 5.2-million tons of foodstuffs was processed and packaged in South Africa. Market researchers are expecting volumes to rise from 2012 to 2017 by an average of about 3%,” she states.
The rising demand for processed and packaged food and beverages is reflected in the rising imports of food- processing and -packaging machinery worldwide. Crewe adds that exports to Southern Africa have more than tripled from 2001 to 2012 and reached a value of €588-million last year.
The conference will highlight hygiene, food safety, resource-efficient processing and packaging, innovative treatment, packaging solutions for a longer shelf life and modern filling methods.
These topics will be presented during open and closed sessions throughout the event.
Crewe says there is opportunity for a lot of international exposure, leads and access to international technologies that will be showcased. There will also be many innovations for manufacturers in Africa and the chance to make international contacts and connections.
Further, countries in Southern Africa have signi- ficant agricultural potential and they want to expand agricultural production to add value to their regions.
Crewe states that these countries hope to become independent of imports and to export the products made in their countries. Modern processing and packaging are required to establish this.
Meanwhile, MMI has established an advisory board for the event, comprising packing technology company Bosch Packaging Technology, process solutions company GEA Process Engineering, German packaging and bottling machine manufacturer Krones and manufacturer of thermoform packaging equipment Multivac, to gain feedback on what should be showcased at the event and which opportunities can be presented to manufacturers.
The Independent Brewers conference, which will take place during the trade fair, will bring together the country’s best craft brewers and their suppliers and consumers.
The conference, which is expected to target about 2 000 visitors, will emphasise the growth and sustainability of and trends in the craft beer market, as well as the establishment of an independent national brewers association.