South African companies who showed off their wares at the 44th Foodex exhibition in Japan are confident of trade leads that will help them grow their businesses.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) led 30 local companies to the exhibition, which is regarded as Asia's largest food and drink fair, providing a platform for creating and expanding business opportunities.
Statistics from the exhibition, which got underway on Tuesday, indicate that over 6 500 people visited the South African pavilion over the course of the week. This resulted in 783 trade leads for South African companies from international traders, who showed keen interest in importing local products.
Export Marketer at Fruits Du Sud, Tania Alston said the exhibition will boost the company's objective of increasing their market share in Japan and rest of the Asian market.
As a result of her participation in the exhibition, Alston said she met very promising clients for her sun dried raisins.
Peter Foulis from Naturezone was also impressed with the exhibition. He made contacts from countries such as Mexico, Korea, China, Japan and America, which he says could see the company exporting its products in the near future.
"The interest in our herbal iced tea and craft mixers was phenomenal," said Foulis on Saturday.
Chief Executive Officer of the Fresh Produce Exporters Forum, Anton Kruger, said the show yielded positive results.
"The show yielded positive results as the forum did not only receive enquiries from Japan, but from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and China as well. It is important to create more awareness about South Africa as a fruit production and export country of high-quality fruits," said Kruger.
The exhibition takes place over a period of four days and attracts thousands of buyers from the food service value chain, distribution networks and trading companies from across the Asia region and globally.
The show, which concluded on Friday, consisted of 1 360 exhibitors from 38 countries representing 14 sectors.