South African companies will tickle the taste buds of the international community at the World Food Moscow International Exhibition, which gets underway in Russia on Tuesday.
Over 30 local companies will partake in the annual exhibition, which coincides with South Africa's commemoration of Heritage Day.
Taking place from Tuesday, the three-day participation in the exhibition is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).
The department is funding the companies' participation in the exhibition in an effort to find a market in Russia for their products or expand their presence in that country.
Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina has described the popular international exhibition as the ideal platform for South Africa to showcase the country's food and drink products to international wholesalers, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs.
The Head of Marketing and Sales at Fruits du Sud, Tanya Alston, says her company is determined to expand its market in Russia.
"We want to develop and grow our market in Russia for our golden raisins. We have realised that there is an opportunity for us to increase the volume of the raisins we are exporting to that country. World Food Moscow provides us with an opportunity to achieve this objective," she said.
The Northern Cape-based company will be targeting wholesalers and bakeries from Russia and other parts of the world who will be at the exhibition.
Fruits du Sud, which employs 175 people, already exports 95% of its raisins to 40 countries across the globe. These include Canada, Japan, Algeria, United States of America and the whole of Europe.
Meanwhile, Royalty Agri-Biz, a KwaZulu-Natal-based company, said participation in the fair will help it to break into the international market.
"It will be the first time we are participating in an international trade exhibition. On our side, we are really to start playing in the international market.
"Participating in this exhibition will enable us to test if the international market is ready for our products. We are going there to test the market and see how it will respond to our products, which consist of a range of honey-based cordial drinks," said Agri-Biz Director Fatima Cele.
Cele, whose company is based in Pietermaritzburg, said the trip will enable her to network with other businesspeople from around the globe.
Maboang Matlou, the Chief Executive Officer of Lefakong Farming, which is based at Bosplaas Village in the North West, says she is looking forward to the mission, as it will give her company an opportunity to showcase its moringa products at an international platform.
It will also enable them to introduce the benefits of moringa to an international audience that will include businesspeople and buyers from across the globe.
"We are particularly targeting the Russian market, as we are aware that there is very little availability and awareness of moringa in that country. I have already received an invitation from a Russia-based organic food company that has shown interest in our products," said Matlou.
The exhibition will conclude on Friday.