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fairtrade launches ‘Virtual for all Middle East Africa 2021’

08/02/2021 – Event / fairtrade / Virtual / Agro / Middle East / Africa / Food / Packaging / MEA

fairtrade launches ‘Virtual for all Middle East Africa 2021’

After the great success of Virtual agrofood & plastprintpack Africa in November 2020, German trade show specialist fairtrade Messe is launching another digital format with Virtual for all Middle East Africa (31 May to 2 June 2021). The new event will contribute to deepening global relations between the Middle East and Africa in the agrofood and plast-print-pack sectors. 

Fairtrade is once again joining forces with B2B Africa, headquartered in Kenya, to ensure that high-profile participants from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda actively make use of Virtual for all Middle East Africa for their business.

Great expectations for 2021 event

Certainly, a brief review of November's Virtual agrofood & plastprintpack Africa also gives an indication of what participants of the new MEA-focused event can expect. 

A total of 2,353 registered participants from 87 countries attended. 64 exhibitors from 17 countries received 8,783 visits to their virtual stands and their products were consulted 2,008 times. 3,540 visitors attended 67 panel discussions, presentations and product demos with a total of 98 speakers. 

These facts, together with high satisfaction scores on both the exhibitor and the visitor side, have made Virtual for all Africa the most important agrofood and plastprintpack online event with an Africa focus.

Innovations of award-winning event platform

“30 years of experience in organising international trade fairs in the Middle East and 25 years in Africa enable us to establish the new Virtual for all Middle East Africa on a solid footing,” explained Martin März, fairtrade founder and managing partner. “At the same time, we are going down innovative digital paths so that our exhibitors and attendees can communicate and do business in the best possible way,” he added. 

fairtrade Managing Director, Paul März, further outlined that Virtual for all MEA 2021 would benefit from two innovations: “Firstly, in addition to our proven partners in the

Maghreb and in West and East Africa, we are setting further regional focuses – in

Africa with Egypt and South Africa, and in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia, UAE,

Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain,” he informed.

“And secondly will we complement the award-winning event platform we have already used for Virtual for all Africa 2020 with a mobile app that will bring notifications regarding appointments between exhibitors and attendees directly to their smartphones, helping to ensure that agreed B2B appointments actually happen,” Mr März added. 

Participation for visitors is complimentary. Exhibitors can choose between various exhibitor and sponsorship packages. 

Relevant content, inspiring speakers

In addition to the B2B meetings, Virtual for all Middle East Africa 2021 will offer a

large-scale conference programme extending over the entire three days, addressing relevant and currently highly debated topics, alongside innovative product demos.

Focus on MEA agrofood & plastprintpack investments

For three days, the focus will be on the Middle East Africa region – and specifically on agricultural production, food and beverage technology, food ingredients, and food trade, as well as plastic, printing and packaging materials, raw materials and technology. Certainly, considerable opportunity exists for players in all such sectors, as outlined by the statistics below.

• Agro: To diversify Africa’s economies and revive its rural areas, the African

Development Bank (AfDB) has committed US$ 24 billion towards agricultural

industrialisation. According to the German Engineering Federation VDMA, MEA's

agricultural machinery imports amount to well over €2 billion annually.

• Food and bev tech: Imports of food processing & packaging technology account for

€4.683 billion in 2019 (VDMA).

• Food ingredients: With 1.6 billion inhabitants, the MEA region has long been one of the world’s largest food markets. Expenditure in the F&B sector is growing steadily, and

F&B production is by far the largest segment of the MEA processing industry.

• Food and hospitality: According to the African Development Bank, MEA’s annual food imports are estimated to rise from US$85 billion currently to reach US$170 billion by 2025.

• Plastics: Since the Middle East is a huge exporter of plastics in primary forms, while Africa produces just 39 per cent of its required plastic raw materials domestically, meaning the Middle East and Africa fit very well together to help balance their needs. African imports of plastics raw materials, for instance, grew by an average 5.9 per cent annually from 2011–2017, rising to 5,939kt. Meanwhile, the Middle East’s exports of such material grew from 16,607kt in 2011 to reach 25,280kt in 2017 – an average annual increase of 7.25 per cent, according to EUROMAP. Furthermore, MEA’s imports of plastics technology totalled €1,779 billion in 2019, according to VDMA.

• Print: MEA’s imports of printing and paper processing technology represented

€1,368 billion in 2018, up 7.8 per cent from 2017, according to VDMA.

• Packaging: MEA’s imports of packaging technology amounted to €2.291 billion in

2019, up 3.2 per cent on 2018 figures, according to VDMA. 

For further information on the upcoming event Virtual for all Middle East Africa, 31 May to 2 June 2021, visit:

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