There will be no rotten potatoes today as South African companies are set to participate in the 2019 Fruit Logistica Asia Trade Show that gets underway in Hong Kong.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) is leading a delegation of 22 local companies to the annual trade show that focuses on the fresh, unprocessed fruit and vegetables produce sector and the related value chain.
Participation in the fair, said the dti, is to ensure that local companies gain market access and acquire knowledge on global trends and innovation within the fresh produce sector.
The trade show also offers the opportunity to establish new business contacts as it brings together key players from all over the world under one roof.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Potatoes South Africa, Andre Jooste, who is part of the delegation, said the company’s participation in the show is driven by China’s previous hosting of the World Potato Congress in 2015, where potatoes were made known as the next significant product they were looking to surpass rice with.
“That development coupled with the innovations and product developments we witnessed in 2015 were key in informing us that there was still a lot to learn. When the dti presented us with this opportunity to come and showcase this year we saw that as an opportunity to further build on the knowledge and experience that we previously obtained,” said Jooste ahead of the start of the three-day show.
Jooste said the company hopes to build networks and connections to open up markets for the country’s over 500 producers to export potatoes into the world.
“We have the capacity to meet the volumes and are one of the few areas in the world that produce potatoes all year round in sixteen different production regions because of our favourable climate. We have determined that export is very important also for our local industry to not only develop markets to the north but to also look at the Middle East and in the long term if there are markets in the Far East,” said Jooste.
The participation of the South African companies at Fruit Logistica forms part of the dti’s Export Promotion Strategy that targets high growth export markets and to support South Africa’s fresh produce sector.
The trade show will conclude on Friday