South Africa

The first African Biotrade Festival in Johannesburg - supported by SIPPO

SIPPO was a key technical partner of the first African Biotrade Festival, a celebration of the value derived from indigenous plant biodiversity, where SIPPO collaborated with its Swiss development cooperation partner, the ABioSA project.

African Biotrade Festival

The African Biotrade Festival was organized in collaboration with Organic & Natural Products Expo Africa 2023, in partnership with the Department of Environment, Forestry & Fisheries and the Department of Trade, Industry & Competition, with the support from GIZ projects, ABioSA (SECO-funded) and BioInnovation Africa (BMZ-funded). The festival took place from 14-16 September 2023 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.  

 This was one of Africa’s biggest gatherings of the biodiversity ingredients and products sector, with the festival offering an opportunity for visitors to experience the growth and market potential of African plant diversity. The visitors could meet with bio trade producers, suppliers and communities and learn how the sector is addressing quality, market access, regulatory compliance and global competitiveness. The African Biotrade Festival included the exhibition, workshops, a conference, matchmaking and export opportunities. The exhibitors included Pavilions showcasing ingredients & products from key biotrade species, such as baobab, marula, buchu, honeybush, essential oils, etc.

 SIPPO’s technical support consisted of various interventions for the preparation and implementation of the trade fair, facilitated by a SIPPO international sector expert. During a virtual introductory workshop with sector associations and SIPPO’s Swiss cooperation partner project, ABioSA, information was shared with the BSOs on how they can support their members in the natural ingredients sector, including areas of support and good practices of BSOs, and how to respond to market trends and comply with sustainability requirements.

A further virtual preparatory workshop was facilitated with BSO partners, CECOSA, the dtic and SAEOPA and sector associations for their exhibiting companies, in preparation for their participation at the fair. Topics covered included basic preparation steps for the event, responding to market trends, sharing methodologies on how to find and target buyers, and other useful tips in preparation of their participation at the fair.

On site during the trade fair, the SIPPO international sector expert facilitated a panel discussion with European buyers from the sector, who shared useful information on market requirements and opportunities.

The festival stimulated new networks and connections in the bio trade sector, and profiled small businesses to local and international buyers, wholesalers, retailers and traders. It further promoted biotrade ingredients and products and raised awareness of Africa’s success in improving quality, standards, and regulatory compliance.

South Africa’s natural ingredient and biotrade product economy has significant growth potential, based on emerging and existing businesses, new product categories and growing local and international demand.

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