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Southern Africa Conference 2024: Bridging Fresh Produce Markets

Tinashe Mupasiri



Cape Town, South Africa – The vibrant city of Cape Town is set to host a pivotal event for the fresh produce industry as the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) prepares for its Southern Africa Conference on August 5-6, 2024, at the Century City Conference Centre. This highly anticipated conference aims to strengthen connections among industry members across Southern Africa and global export markets, addressing critical issues that influence the fresh produce supply chain.

As delegates gather for this significant event, the conference promises a robust programme designed to facilitate meaningful dialogue among participants. Industry leaders and guest speakers will address the top-of-mind concerns affecting businesses’ bottom lines and future growth, providing an invaluable platform for sharing insights and strategies.

The conference will kick off on the evening of August 5 with an opening reception, setting the stage for two days of intensive discussions and networking opportunities. Among the key sessions, Miriam Wolk, IFPA’s Chief Membership Officer, will present an in-depth analysis of the current state of the industry, offering vital insights into what this means for the fresh produce sector in Southern Africa.

One of the most anticipated sessions will focus on geopolitical issues. In a world where volatility is the new norm, this session will provide a comprehensive overview of the geopolitical landscape following recent elections in South Africa and key trade partner nations. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how these geopolitical shifts could impact the fresh produce industry.

Another critical topic on the agenda is the privatisation of ports. This session will explore the ramifications of port privatisation on export processes, efficiencies, and the industry’s competitiveness on the global stage. As Southern Africa continues to navigate the complexities of global trade, understanding these dynamics is crucial for industry players.

Market dynamics will also take center stage as a distinguished panel of major retailers and importers from key Southern African export markets share their insights on consumer trends and supply chains. This discussion will provide producers with the knowledge they need to successfully market their products and navigate the evolving marketplace.

Adding to the conference’s allure is the popular Women’s Fresh Perspectives Breakfast, scheduled for the morning of August 6. This event will bring together female leaders in the industry for a morning of networking and knowledge sharing, highlighting the vital role of women in driving the industry forward.

Miriam Wolk expressed the importance of the conference, stating, “IFPA seeks to serve its members and the greater supply chain to provide value 365 days a year. Our annual Southern Africa Conference is a unique opportunity for us to share global insights with the fresh produce industry in Southern Africa and to learn from them how best to serve their interests in both domestic and export markets.”

Echoing this sentiment, Jane Strijdom, IFPA Country Manager for Southern Africa, added, “We embrace the opportunity to welcome industry members from across the supply chain and engage them in a dialogue that will help shape our priorities for the year ahead. Our programme is uniquely designed to focus on producers eager to learn about retail export markets, transportation, logistics, and the impact of elections on our industry.”

The Southern Africa Conference 2024 is more than just a meeting—it’s a convergence of minds and a catalyst for innovation in the fresh produce industry. As industry members look ahead, this conference stands as a beacon of collaboration and progress, reinforcing the IFPA’s commitment to serving the global supply chain.

For more information about the Southern Africa Conference 2024 and to register, visit the IFPA website: https://www.freshproduce.com/events/the-southern-africa-conference/

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