The inaugural Africa virtual B2B food expo – Africa Food Show Virtual Exhibition (AFS VE) – kicked off on Monday July 20, 2020. The 5-day show will play host to some of the most advanced trends in food and agriculture while showcasing ground-breaking new products and technologies that are set to help businesses thrive for the next decade.
The global pandemic has put extraordinary pressure on businesses in the food sector to survive. There’s, therefore, a need to develop solutions that will keep agriculture safely running as an essential business, markets well supplied in affordable and nutritious food, and buyers still able to access and purchase food products and technology despite global trade restrictions and obstacles in logistics.
(TOP: Wairimu Mbarire, CEO, Retail Traders Association of Kenya, addressing the virtual forum during the opening session of the Africa Food Show).
David Wang, founder and Chairman of MIE Group
“I look forward to the work ahead,” MIE Group Board Chairman David Wang remarked: “We are a resilient, innovative organisation and we are dedicated to developing platforms and services that will strengthen global food trade. AFS VE is the timely solution we have designed to help food manufacturers, buyers, distributors and suppliers recover from the impact of COVID-19.”
While the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa so far pales in comparison to other key markets, the disruption in supply chains is already evident in the food sector. The price of fertilizers has soared as farmers struggle to find more reasonably priced alternatives. Food processing companies are wondering how and where to get replacement parts for their production lines. Furthermore, some of the biggest exporters in the world have reduced their exports because they fear food shortage in their own countries.
Fadi Kaddoura, MIE Group’s VP of Sales and Marketing, said: “We understand the significance of this supply chain problem and in order to overcome it, we have meticulously gathered over 150 leading companies in the food industry from more than 14 countries in order to give you the opportunity to reconnect with your suppliers and continue doing business.”
Dr. Nevine Gamaa, Minister of Industry and Trade, Egypt
“We want to consider the Coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity, rather than an ordeal, and we have observed that despite it, we can actually continue to open up new markets,” observed Dr. Nevine Gamaa, Egypt’s Minister for Industry and Trade. “We hope that this exhibition will be the start of other similar exhibitions because this pandemic has compelled us to digitize rapidly and deploy the use of communication technology in our meetings and conferences.”
Other high profile speakers that shared their market insights during the opening ceremony include:
- Dan Halstrom – President and CEO, US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), USA
- Anthony Muriithi – Director General, Agriculture and Food Authority, Kenya
- Yu Guibing – Director, Ziyang Municipal Bureau of Commerce, China
- Wairimu Mbarire – CEO, Retail Traders Association of Kenya
- Naji El Haddad – Regional Manager, UFI
- Isabirye Farouk Lubanga – Board Chairman, Busoga Grain Traders Company, Uganda
AFS VE will keep the global food supply chain alive by connecting thousands of buyers, global manufacturers and suppliers through an exclusive virtual B2B environment equipped with advanced video conferencing capabilities. Beyond business, the platform will also drive thought leadership through its dedicated virtual conferences, live keynote presentations, moderated panel discussions and exclusive webinars.
As a major key player in the exhibitions industry, we work alongside Exhibitors, Trade Buyers, Agents & Service Providers to conduct real-time business in our Exclusive Global Trade Week – Virtual Exhibition, your platform to reconnect global supply to drive the business forward.