SA food products capturing attention at Japan exhibition

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The Director of Lentibex, an organic vegetable business manufacturing macadamia nuts, oil and butter, Mr Thabo Mooketsi with the Minister Plenipotentiary at the South African Embassy in Japan, Mr Royce Khuzwayo at the FOODEX exhibition.

The South African food products and beverages are receiving interest at 44th FOODEX exhibition in Chiba, Japan. The 30 businesspeople who are supported by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) to showcase their products and beverages at the exhibition are excited about the response they are getting from international traders. The exhibition, which is dedicated to food and drinks started on Tuesday and ends on Friday, 8 March 2019.

The Director of Forest Fairies-Sweet, Ms Thejes Khan says her range of traditional treats is receiving a huge interest from potential buyers and distributors, particularly the sugar free range.

“The interest is not only from the Japanese buyers and importers, but also from across the globe. We are positive that our participation here will take our company to the next level. This is indeed a perfect opportunity for us to offer our products to the world and grow,” says Khan.

The Managing Director of the South African Fruit and Vegetable Canners Export Council (SAFVCEC), Ms Jill Atwood-Palm is also part of the delegation and is representing over eight companies. She says the trade fair is excellent as the council managed to secure key meetings with a number of interested traders that would potentially see the members of the export council exporting more products to Japan and the world.

“FOODEX and the Japanese market are important to the industry and South Africa is ranked the number one importer of processed apricots and number two in canned peaches. The show has given us a prospect to cement the existing relations and get new business opportunities in the market,” adds Atwood-Palm.

The Director of Lentibex, an organic vegetable business manufacturing macadamia nuts, oil and butter, Mr Thabo Mooketsi is also satisfied with the response his oil and butter are receiving at the trade fair. He pronounces that he acquired great leads and possible buyers are captivated by the products and want him to quote them so that they can place orders.

“What is left for us after the show is to follow up on these leads and hopefully we will send the first order in the next month. Our participation here is also a great opportunity to develop more contacts, create networks and expose people to more of the various products that South African has,” concludes Mooketsi.

The Minister Plenipotentiary at the South African Embassy in Japan, Mr Royce Khuzwayo visited the South African businesspeople at the fair. He said the Japanese have the buying power and are considerate of South Africa but consistency, being persistent and honesty are key to them.