South African companies are expected to tantalise the taste buds of the world at the Gulfood Exhibition that gets underway today in Dubai.
Gulfood has been hailed as the leading food and beverage exhibition in the Gulf region bringing together exporters, importers, distributors, retailers, wholesalers, food producers and restaurateurs from more than a 100 countries.
The exhibition in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) draws about 5 000 exhibitors and more than 100 000 visitors from 120 countries annually.
Local companies are partaking in the exhibition through the Department of Trade and Industry's (dti) Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme.
"This is part of the department's commitment towards increasing market access for value-added goods and services in key markets.
"The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country," said the department ahead of the start of the exhibition.
Owner of Cape Town based Art of Taste the House of Amir, Leonard Arangies, said his range of grape and rooibos tea infusion was previously available in the UAE market and sold in most hotels before the contract with their distributor expired.
"We are here again to remarket the brand, but this time around we are looking for a big distributor with more reach," said Arangies.
Meanwhile, Commercial Manager of Africa Rhodes Food Group, Quentin Stanfliet, said their aim for Gulfood is to exhibit their range of products to the globe.
"Some of the companies that we will meet are coming from Mozambique, Ghana, Kenya and these meetings are to continue building and looking for opportunities within Africa and to establish South Africa as a world class manufacturing hub for agro-processing," said Stanfliet.
Africa Rhodes Food Group currently offers convenience meal solutions in South Africa and Swaziland. The company manufactures canned fruit and meat, juice, baby food, as well as fresh and frozen meals.
The programme for Gulfood which will conclude on Thursday, will include workshops and business-to-business meetings.