Agro-food sector meeting at the French Residence [fr]
Ambassador of France to South Africa and Lesotho, HE Elisabeth Barbier, along with Agricultural counsellor M. Guillaume Furri, hosted prominent members of the agro-food sector at the French Residence in Pretoria on Monday June 23 2015.
Representatives from six French food industry equipment companies, who took part in the French Pavilion at Africa’s Big Seven food show, and representatives from ADEPTA (Association pour le Développement des Echanges internationaux de Produits et Techniques Agroalimentaires) attended the networking session. ADEPTA aids the international development of French companies in the agriculture and agro-food industries with the support of the French government.
Africa’s Big Seven food show, the largest food and beverage trade show in Africa, took place in Midrand from 21 to 23 June 2015. Ambassador Barbier declared that the French presence at the show highlighted the growing relations between France and South Africa in the agriculture and agro-food sectors – both politically and economically.
South African Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, M. Zokwana, visited Paris in February this year at the invitation of French Minister of Agriculture, M. Le Foll to attend a conference on climate change and agriculture and to assess the progress made since they signed a cooperation agreement in 2013. A concrete achievement of this agreement will be the creation of a French South African Agricultural Institute (FSAGRI) at the University of Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape. The offering of food science and processing degrees at the institute would address food security and rural development issues in South Africa.
In addition to the French Pavilion at Africa’s Big Seven food show, another such pavilion was held for the second time at NAMPO Harvest Day in Bothaville earlier this year.
The agro-food sector is a key sector of the French economy with 14 000 enterprises employing more than 400 000 people. Exports in this sector amount to 40 billion Euros per year, making up for 10 percent of all French exports.