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Accessing international markets smartly.

Gordon Gleimius, deputy director: export promotion, explains that the dti is focused on growing trade relations between South Africa and the rest of the world by means of participation in a number of targeted trade shows and organising trade missions. This will enable local producers and manufacturers to make a meaningful impact on not only the export sector, but also the lives of ordinary South Africans through job creation.

South Africa has a growing and diverse F&B industry. The specific and unique range of products puts local manufacturers ahead in terms of innovation, of not only product, but also packaging, ultimately delivering products that global consumers want to purchase. This is attested to by the success of South African pavilions at trade shows such as SIAL 2014 held in Paris in October last year. This exhibition offered a great number of opportunities for local manufacturers, and feedback indicated that South African products were very highly regarded by international audiences. Dynamic Commodities, manufacturers of award-winning food products won its fourth Innovations Award, (a highlight of the SIAL calendar) for its Island Style Breakfast Apples. Gourmet Africa won the bronze medal in the SIAL World Tour of Food with its range of convenient cook-in sauces and soups under the label Gourmet Africa, United Tastes of Africa.

More than 36 companies were featured on the South African pavilion at SIAL last year, states Gleimius. We monitor our exhibitors success and get excellent return on investment. When something works, we continue to do it and we are confident that in the future, food and beverages related exhibitions such as SIAL, Anuga, Fruit Logistica, and Gulfood (to name a few) will continue to give South African companies the opportunity to meet buyers from around the world.

The dti annually exhibits officially in the form of National Pavilions at approximately 28 trade shows around the world in different sectors, including F&B. It is good for exhibitors to be part of the South African pavilion as collectively they can be part of a bigger space and therefore their products will stand out more, says Gleimius. Companies also benefit from the marketing and advertising done through the dti which covers virtually all the costs borne for the SA exhibitors including stand design, build up and rental, freight forwarding, as well as flight costs, and daily allowances for SMMEs and PDI firms.

We want to continually attract new companies and products. The more we promote local business, the more they can potentially export and in the process expand their organisation. The knock-on effect is that they will employ more people which also has meaningful bearing on our local economy. In the past, there have been returns of up to R1 billion on a R6 million investment by the dti. These returns have the potential to have a real impact on assisting in reducing the South African trade deficit.

Initiatives that work

Gaining access to international markets and exports is a key consideration for manufacturers of F&B products in South Africa. As a governmental organisation, the dtiis there to partner with all players in the industry in accessing the international market by offering a host of products and services aimed at getting South African products to the right place at the right time.

The export portfolio at the dti is diverse and efforts are supported through the use of export promotion mechanisms such as national pavilions, trade missions, investment and trade initiatives, special projects and unconventional interventions to create visibility and market access for South African exporters in order to facilitate trade relations between South Africa and the rest of the world.

The Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Schemes (EMIA) purpose is to partially compensate exporters for costs incurred in respect of activities aimed at developing export markets for South African products and services and to recruit direct new foreign investment into South Africa.

The dti, under the EMIA Scheme has a number of offerings for qualifying South African exporters such as Individual Exhibition Assistance, where companies can participate at trade fairs where the dti does not have a National Pavilion and the Primary Market Research Scheme where firms can visit foreign markets to prospect for export business. A National Pavilion is the official country participation in major trade fairs or exhibitions abroad which showcases the country, its industries, strengths, comparative advantages and those firms with potential and capacity to export and wanting to penetrate world markets with their products.

EMIA generic qualifying criteria

Export readiness of applicant

Export/production performance of the applicant

Export/marketing competence of person visiting the foreign exhibition

Potentially available, accessible production/export product capacity

Type of product for export and local sales performance

Level of labour absorption, location and technological requirements

Industry in which the venture operates or is planned

Submission of general and specific qualifying documentation and adherence to general and specific criteria as stipulated for the national pavilions offering.

Sustained and concerted economic growth by increasing exports is arguably the biggest stimulus to long term development in South Africa. Creating visibility and promoting exports for South African firms is a priority for Trade and Investment South Africa, a division of the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

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Publication:South African Food Review
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Jun 9, 2015
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