Five SIPPO countries with their BSOs were present at BIOFACH 2024

At Biofach 2024, the World's Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food in Nuremberg, SIPPO provided support to BSOs from five countries it is engaged in: Albania, Vietnam, Peru, Tunisia and Serbia. 

Biofach 2024

While the BSOs from the five countries all planned specific interventions and had different objectives to be achieved during the fair, SIPPO's preparation focussed on specific capacity building activities to enable the partner BSOs to improve their ability to operate more independently and successfully in international markets. On the part of SIPPO, this included knowledge transfer, improving marketing strategies and preparing successful activities during the fair. At the fair, SIPPO promoted the proactive exchange among various players at BIOFACH, including the national pavilions, and with selected organisations and importer networks.

Visit from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Marco Kräuchi visited BIOFACH as a representative of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the donor of the SIPPO programme. His presence was much appreciated by the various BSOs present. The exchange with them provided him with an excellent opportunity to gain insights into the interventions and support activities that SIPPO offers to the participating countries and their BSOs.

SIPPO Tunisia
With the support of SIPPO Tunisia, BSO APIA improved its services by incorporating the importers' perspective and market trends more strongly into its marketing and communication strategies. This was relevant topic in previous participations at Biofach and has now been specifically implemented for Biofach 2024, resulting in a more intensive use of catalogues, in an improved presentation of the pavilion and more effective branding, both for the products and for the country pavilion. Before the Fair, the increased focus on a careful preparation of visits abroad and the identification of key players using customer relationship tools also contributed to this. A broader spectrum of the organic food offering beyond the previous areas of olive oil and dates was promoted by a greater depth of services provided by the BSO, in particular by a stronger focus on sustainable procurement methods.

For 2024, SIPPO Peru is supporting Promperu with two missions: Biofach and Vivaness:

  • Biofach: Collaboration with PROMPERU focuses on the Andean Grain Cluster. There's an emphasis on decentralising capacity building and market knowledge to regions outside Lima, so a so-called Market Exploration Orientation Mission was carried out. This was done with the idea of expanding the regions' services in export promotion, this time focusing on Andean grains and how to prepare a market entry strategy.
  • Vivaness: SIPPO supports Promperu in developing the less advanced cosmetics sector with new exhibitors. It provides market information, prepares the BSO and its companies for the trade fair and also supports the BSO at the trade fair.

SIPPO Vietnam
The objective of SIPPO Vietnam an its BSO at Biofach 2024 is not very different from that in the other SIPPO countries. The idea is to support the BSO VPSA in further developing the export promotion strategy for the spice sector. Previously, a roadmap was drawn up with inputs for their strategy, including a visit to Biofach. This is a niche market that the Vietnamese spice sector is targeting. SIPPO's support includes further market expansion activities as well as marketing and communication to target new markets.

The Pepper Association works closely with Viertrade, the national trade promotion agency. SIPPO has entered into a partnership with VPSA to provide capacity development in the above-mentioned areas.

SIPPO Albania
In an impressive example of strategic collaboration and targeted support, the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) has played a crucial role over the past four years in enhancing the Albanian Investment Development Agency's (AIDA) preparation and presentation at BIOFACH.

This year's event marks a significant milestone in the evolving partnership between SIPPO and AIDA and underlines the importance of synergy between different stakeholders in promoting the Albanian organic sector on the global stage.

SIPPO's role as a catalyst for AIDA's capacities has brought a fresh perspective to the preparatory phase for BIOFACH. SIPPO has enabled AIDA to refine its approach to trade fair participation, combining strategic support and practical expertise. The preparation included identifying the potential of individual exporters and their product-market match, strengthening relationships with exporters through field visits, developing comprehensive agendas and active participation in preparation workshops, all aimed at maximising the impact of Albania's presence at the fair.

The collaboration has had a direct and profound impact on the companies supported by AIDA. With the improved strategies and insights gained through SIPPO's support, AIDA has been able to offer its members more tailored marketing and export promotion services. This has ensured that Albanian companies are not only well represented at BIOFACH, but are also able to proactively capitalise on international business opportunities and showcase the best of Albania's organic produce.

The partnership between AIDA, SIPPO, Trade Promotion East / International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Albanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is an example of a unified approach to export promotion. This collaborative effort has focused on building Albania's reputation for MAPs, olive oil and other organic products, with AIDA taking the lead in marketing and export promotion and other stakeholders supporting its efforts.

SIPPO Serbia
In addition to the usual support for the Chamber of Commerce's participation in the BIOFACH trade fair, SIPPO is supporting an orientation mission for the natural and organic cosmetics sector with the aim of developing market development programmes with BSOs.

The programme includes the identification of company offers and objectives, the preparation of market education workshops and training on how to deal with buyers and how to improve sustainability practices.

Together with the Chamber of commerce of Serbia, SIPPO is supporting an orientation mission to develop the natural and organic cosmetics sector in Serbia, recognizing that it is currently underdeveloped.

This initiative is seen as a way of preparing companies for future participation in BIOFACH, which could also extend to natural and organic cosmetics with Vivaness.

SIPPO and the Business Support Organisations (BSOs) in Serbia have drawn up a market prospection programme, which includes

  • Identifying what companies have to offer and their strategic objectives
  • Preparation of a workshop aimed at understanding the market in Natural Ingredients, tailored to the specific objectives and needs of the companies.
  • Running a second workshop to provide companies with tools to effectively gather information during the fair, including keeping track of relevant seminars and potential prospects.

SIPPO's role in these activities is to provide technical support, while the BSOs work directly with the companies.

On this activity coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce, there is a strong focus on market orientation, which aims to educate companies on how to access new markets, connect with buyers and improve their presence in the sector, as well as on sustainability as a core value in the cosmetics industry. The anticipated outcome of these efforts is that the Chamber of Commerce will be equipped to offer more services to companies in the future, such as aiding with trade fair participation and providing market intelligence.

The strategy is intended to build capacity within the Serbian cosmetics sector and to position it for success on the international stage, particularly at trade events like BIOFACH.

(Second version, supplemented with additional information on Albania)

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