On the 31st of March, the Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town, Wesgro, and supporting partners launched the inaugural Cape Agriculture Export Week.
Boasting over 200 buyers from around the globe (specifically Africa, Middle-East, Europe, Asia & the Americas), the virtual platform showcased the premium agriculture and agri-processed products of 85 local exhibitors, across four categories. With multiple important B2B sessions held, there are promising deals on the table which the team hopes to see come to fruition over the upcoming weeks.
Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, commented: “The Western Cape is an agri-export powerhouse, exporting R77.14 billion worth of agri-processed and agricultural products in 2020, and more than half of South Africa’s agricultural exports at 52.91%. Boosting exports is a key priority for our economic recovery in the Western Cape and events like the Cape Agriculture Export Week is an innovative platform to showcase the many growth and investment opportunities available to exporters and importers."
“In 2020, the Western Cape exported over 70% of South Africa’s beverages, more than two-fifths of the country’s meat, fish and fruit products (44%), nearly a third of the nation’s leather related products (30.8%), and some 22% of the country’s dairy products. With the impressive breadth and depth of our agriculture and agri-processed products, it is imperative that we continue to maintain awareness of our product offering to the world via virtual solutions. With roughly 340 agri-processing facilities located in the metro, it makes Cape Town’s food value chain extensive. Our city plays host to a highly diverse food and beverage manufacturing industry, placing it at the centre of the Western Cape’s Agricultural region,” added Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Member for Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Asset Management at the City of Cape Town.
Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO, commented: “The event is one of the new ways that Wesgro’s Export Unit is growing the global footprint of local agri producers, and keeping the destination front of mind for when travel resumes.”
“We have maintained export momentum through digitisation, as the unit has led numerous virtual missions to market over the course of 2020 and the beginning of this year. The Cape Agriculture Export Week digital platform is a catalyst for meaningful B2B connections, and we encourage businesses to review our virtual mission plan to find similar opportunities,” concluded Harris.
Cape Agriculture Export Week is in an initiative launched by the Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town and Wesgro, in partnership: The Department of Trade Industry and competition (dtic); Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO), USAID, SA Fruit & Vegetable Canners’ Export Council, Cosmetic Export Council of South Africa, Fresh Produce Exporters Forum South Africa, South African Essential Oil Producers’ Association, SA Olive Association and Wines of South Africa.