Southern African Firms Shine at Fancy Foods Show
This year 17 Southern African companies exhibited at the Summer Fancy Food show from July 10-12 in Washington D.C. USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub, USAID West Africa Trade Hub, COMPETE, and South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) partnered on the Taste of Africa pavilion that featured more than 30 African companies. The Taste of Africa pavilion offered gourmet innovations and savory food sensations from across the continent. It showcased world-class companies such as Rozendal Vinegar – winner of the 2011 Gold Sofi Award for best vinegar – and Willow Creek Products innovator of the snap & squeeze sachets, a single serving sachets filled with 8ml of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. During the trade show, Willow Creek Products met with AMI about major airline opportunities for the snap & squeeze sachets. Also, the pavilion featured cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef and author Dominique Macquet of Dominique's On Magazine in New Orleans.
The products were on display in the 2011 cookbook and Taste of Africa directory, which also included recipes, product and company descriptions, booth number, and contact information. Along with organizing the pavilion, SATH and DTI arranged a grocery retail tour on Saturday, July 9, that included an appointment with Roy Rodman of Rodman's, a family-owned chain of 3 grocery stores in the Washington, D.C. area. In his hunt for new products Rodman discussed trade terms, pricing, finding good value in products, and products that match his customers' needs.
On Monday evening, July 11, the Western Cape Fine Food Initiative (WCFFI) hosted an invitation-only networking cocktail for industry representatives and the Taste of Africa producers. The evening at Nando's restaurant featured South African wine and Malagasy chocolate tasting from Stellar Organic Wines and Madécasse Chocolate. The growing leadership from the WCFFI extended to the CEO and chairman meeting with Ron Tanner, NASFT's vice president of communications, education, government, and industry relations about managing the Taste of Africa pavilion at the 2012 Summer Fancy Food show.