This year’s Food Africa and pacprocess MEA in Cairo from 5 to 7 December 2022 drew to a close with high international attendance, strong growth rates and an avid interest taken by the food and packaging industries.
It proved the most successful Food Africa in its history and a pacprocess MEA on course for growth: after an economically challenging year the trade fair duo of the interpack alliance set numerous positive impulses and trigged good business deals. 5 to 7 December saw 25,821 visitors from over 60 countries come to the Egypt International Exhibition Center in Cairo to gather information on innovations and trends and expand their contacts, especially with Africa and the Arab world. They met with 738 exhibitors from 32 countries as well as 14 national participations and joint stands. This corresponds to a 60% increase in visitors and an increase of around 70% in exhibitors compared to the previous event.
“The impressive development of the event but also the mood and conversations on site illustrate once again that Africa and the Middle East are attractive destinations for many companies. Those not joining the fray, leave opportunities untapped. The integration of Food Africa into our portfolio sends out a signal. With this move we offer a unique platform for accessing Africa’s mega market for food,” says Thomas Dohse, Director of interpack Portfolios Processing & Packaging as the three-day event draws to a close. Since late 2021 Food Africa has been a part of the interpack alliance and is held jointly by Messe Düsseldorf and its partners IFP Egypt and Konzept. For years it has been the No. 1 for the African food industry and – together with pacprocess MEA – it has now further strengthened its position as a must-attend event for the region.
This year Food Africa again painted a comprehensive picture of all sub- sectors of the food industry and agricultural sector. Finished food, dates, seafood, fresh produce, herbs and spices, packaging and processing technologies.
The fact that these trade fairs also receive strong support by Egyptian policy-makers was evidenced among other things by the event being opened by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Ahmed Samir and the Minister for Supply and Internal Trade, Aly Meselhy.
Targeted networking and information
The spectrum of topics addressed at the accompanying conference ranged from global market developments such as digitalisation and sustainability to specifically regional content. At Food Africa the national strategy for the Egyptian date economy was presented, for example, which is of major importance to the country and seeing rising demand worldwide.
Food Africa and pacprocess MEA are also synonymous with the targeted networking between trade buyers and exhibitors on site. Proving a special benefit again this year was the Hosted Buyers Programme featuring more than 500 participants from 63 countries. This way trade relations were promoted selectively.
pacprocess MEA grows alongside Food Africa
114 exhibitors were presented at the third edition of pacprocess MEA, which is specifically tailored to the local market and maps the value chain of the packaging sector and related process industries. Here, too, a positive conclusion emerged after three days. “With this year’s event we have taken the next step into an important growth market,” says Thomas Dohse, and adds: “We will continue strengthening pacprocess MEA with a view to offering the sector ideal prerequisites for establishing a foothold in this exciting region. In doing so, we regard the parallel scheduling with Food Africa as a very decisive factor just like the cooperation with our partners on site.” There are numerous synergies generated by this trade fair duo because all decision-makers get together in one place.
In 2023 Food Africa and pacprocess MEA will again be held in Cairo in December.
“As the Schütz company we are very satisfied with the results of the trade fair. During our first participation in pacprocess MEA we succeeded in establishing valuable contacts and having many good conversations. Cooperation with the trade fair team was outstanding and the Pavilion was the right platform for us.”
Axel Schäfer, Global Head of Marketing & Commercial Product Management, Schütz GmbH & Co. KGaA.
“Food Africa was very good in terms of the number and quality of visitors, especially from Egypt and the Middle East. We would like to see more visitors from the African states at our stand. After a difficult economic situation this year, we now realise that demand is rising. We are satisfied and plan to participate again in 2023.”
Önder Cakirci, General Manager Buram GmbH
“We have been operating on the Egyptian market since 2012. pacprocess MEA was our first trade fair participation since the Covid crisis. We met both new customers and existing clients, especially from Egypt. We hope that these leads will result in deals. It is always important to show a presence and we think that this trade fair holds plenty of potential. It has been a good decision to link it with Food Africa and a strong food sector.”
Panagiotis Konstantarakos, Head of Exports, Europe, THRACE PLASTICS PACK Co. S.A.
“Egypt is an exciting market for us because there are many producers here who could potentially become our customers. At this year’s pacprocess MEA we met with many existing customers who attended the concurrently held Food Africa. At present, however, the investment climate still is rather difficult also on account of the devaluation of the local currency.”
Markus Rustler, Managing Partner of Theegarten-Pactec GmbH & Co
“We welcomed many customers to our stand and they were very interested in our products – sugarfree sweets. The visitors hailed from all over the world, especially from this region here, but also from the USA, UK, Brazil, many Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and, of course, Egypt.”
Maciey Alaba, General Director of Factory Burro
“The participation proved beneficial for us in order to introduce ourselves, our portfolio and our local manufacturing options to the Egyptian market. It was simply important to meet the people face to face. It was also interesting to get to know the market. This also gave us the opportunity to meet potential new partners and suppliers here.”
Sabrina Wahr, Key Account Manager MENA ALPLA
“We founded our company six months ago and would now like to grow internationally. At the trade fair we have met a great number of potential customers from Egypt and Africa. Food Africa was our very first trade fair experience and it has been an immediate success.”
Said Hamdy, Export Manager Siam Ocean
“This year was our third Food Africa. The Egyptian market is our main market for Polish apples and therefore the No. 1 export nation. In 2021, for example, we exported 160,000 tons of apples to Egypt. This year proved more difficult due to the currency-related issues. We are now hoping for a good 2023. We met many customers at the trade fair and would also like to expand our exports to other African countries and the Middle East.”
Agnieszka Dywan, Polish Fruit Growers Association
“We had not expected such a big trade fair. Food Africa was a great opportunity to do business on the Arab and Egyptian markets. We will definitely repeat our participation next year.”
Eli Martin Chávez Vildoso, International Director Petruz Fruity