By attending our conferences you can secure all important accreditation's with CPD points, collect a personalised training certificate and receive essential learning from experts. Book your seat today.


Conference RatesRates excl. VAT
Per SessionR 250.00
Per dayR 1, 000.00
All 3 daysR 2, 000.00
If you are affiliated to supporting associations you will receive a 50% discount on rates.
Qualifying small black-owned businesses may attend for free.

Sunday 25 june

Farmer Training Day

The opening afternoon of the event will feature a series of FREE-TO-ATTEND skills training sessions designed for smallholder / urban farmers from Johannesburg and Gauteng Province. Experienced trainers will be conducting these interactive sessions across a range of different competencies and techniques. They are intended to help the audience improve the productivity, efficiency and profitability of their existing farming operations and to help assist their progress into the medium and large scale farmers of tomorrow.

Certificates of completion will be provided for all attendees of the full afternoon programme.

12:00-12:30 Registration
12:30-13:00 Training Session 1
Planting, nurturing and harvesting for best yields in an urban context
Led by: Ben Stevens, secretariat, The South African Society for Agricultural Extension (SASAE)
Training Session 2
Gaining access to improved input supplies: seeds, fertilisers and agrochemicals
Led by: Ben Stevens, secretariat, The South African Society for Agricultural Extension (SASAE)
14:00-14:30 Training Session 3
How small-scale farmers can be more successful at accessing financial services
Led by: Nonkululeko Zulu, gauteng provincial manager, Land Bank
14:30-15:00 Training Session 4
Marketing / basic processing tools for farmers: Obtaining enough revenue to protect your farm operations
Led by: Tozamile Lukhalo, director, National Extension Reform, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)
16:00-16:30 Certificate collection AGRI-BUSINESS

training by


conference day 1: 26 june

10:50 - 11:00Opening remarks from the Chair
Bruce Cohen, editor, Food & Beverage Reporter
11:00 - 11:30How the consumer goods act affects your business: Ensuring fair play between consumers and suppliers
The Consumer Goods & Services Ombud is the industry’s accredited and compulsory Ombud scheme, set up in line with the Consumer Protection Act. The CGSO enforces the Consumer Goods and Services Industry Code of Conduct by receiving and dealing with consumer goods complaints and investigating alleged contraventions. The industry has managed to secure a degree of self-regulation and the benefits of participating with and contributing to the CGSO will be discussed, including the consumer advocacy programme “Shop / Buy with Confidence” which registered and eligible CGSO participants will be able to use to provide levels of assurances to their customers.
Graham Rebello, participant liaison, Consumer Goods & Services Ombud
11:45 - 12:15Evaluating the current landscape of SA food retailers with particular reference to switching or discontinuing and what are the important drivers for consumer retention
In this current economic climate, what are the current drivers of change in consumer behaviour.
Jan Wegelin, head of research, African Response
12:30 - 13:00Digital disruption and how this can positively affect your business
How has the funding landscape changed over the past couple of years in South Africa and how will this affect your ability to grow your business going forward. This is the time of the year when you should be investing in your business to reap the rewards when the weather warms up. Knowing how to access the working capital that this investment requires is the first step to getting your business flying in a supressed economy.
Vernon de Wet, executive head: Business Development, Retail Capital
13:15 - 13:45Market perspective and growth strategies: Leading restaurant operators
With the constant demand of daily life, eating patterns are changing and the quick service market is taking centre stage. How will top culinary trends stand out on menus, is food service pushing the boundaries and what new styles and tastes are defining SA’s top restaurants?
Wendy Alberts, chief executive officer, The Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA)
Praxia Nathanael, chief executive officer, Gold Brand Investments
14:00 - 14:30The highs and lows of retail: Cashflow, stocks and the economy
This workshop will showcase what you should be doing in your slow trading months to gaurantee that your business flourishes when your trade picks up.
Vernon de Wet, executive head: business development, Retail Capital
14:45 - 15:15Utilising innovation to unlock growth: Translating consumer insights into tangible products to meet and influence taste
Following innovation throughout the food and beverage value chain, tastes change, regulations evolve and the challenges of ensuring a sustainable food supply multiply. What new product developments are enlightening the food and beverage market space?
Mark Sack, managing director, Sally Williams Fine Foods
Paul Raphaely, co-founder, Nomu Brands
Grant van Niekerk, category lead: biscuits, chocolates & groceries, Mondelez
Martinique Buys, marketing manager, flavour division, Symrise
15:30 - 16:00An anatomy of South African distribution channels and networks: How do imported products find their way onto supermarkets shelves, forecourts and spaza shops?
A huge volume of international product suppliers are continually attempting to find effective distribution into South Africa’s retail sector. Although it’s easy to identify the organisations that dominate the sector, how do you communicate with them effectively? How do you find reliable distributors to help access these – as well as the more informal retail channels that still dominate the market for many goods?
Derek Engelbrecht, Africa consumer products and retail sector Lead, EY
16:15 - 16:45Setting the scene: The latest on responsible sourcing and ensuring quality
It’s been reported that the widespread adoption of sustainable sourcing is crucial if we are going to feed millions of people without depleting the earth. This discussion will help provide an understanding into the latest ‘farm to fork’ and ‘sea to fork’ approaches impacting the way in which we are sourcing ingredients, why more restaurants are switching to sustainable food policies and the importance of creating a policy of your own.
Melisha Nagiah, programme manager, WWF – Sassi South Africa
Brad Meiring, founder, Munching Mongoose

conference day 2: 27 June

10:50 - 11:00Opening remarks from the Chair
11:00 - 11:30Discovering the expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa
South Africa remains the most modern, profitable and developed retail environment in all of Africa, as well as its largest economy and its most developed and dynamic distribution hub. Once products and distribution networks are established, many domestic and international companies then face the challenge of using this foundation as a springboard into other African markets. This session will examine how a major industry player plans and executes its ever expanding footprint in Africa and the lessons that it’s learnt along the way.
Tim Fry, expansion director, Danone Southern Africa
11:45 - 12:15The Agro-Processing support scheme (APSS)Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies
Minister Rob Davies reveals details of the new dti Agro-processing Support Scheme (APSS), which targets food and beverage value addition and processing (including black-owned winemakers), feed production, fertiliser production, fibre production and furniture. Grants of up to Rand 20 million aim to support small farmers, create jobs, increase rural development and help boost exports’.
APSS supports both brownfield and greenfield investments, encourages investment in upstream and downstream support services and infrastructure expansion for farmers. The announcement forms part of the dti’s transition away from generalised incentives towards sector-specific programmes.
Honourable Minister Rob Davies, Department of Trade and Industry
12:30 - 13:00Find, win and keep your customers
  • žTake digital marketing to the next level
  • How to maximise your ROI
  • Providing credible service to your customers
  • The mobile age: Enable your teams to work from anywhere
  • How real-time reporting can change your business
Chris Hardy, director, Tetrad IT
13:15 - 13:45SA Sugar Tax – Sweet deal or bitter consequences?
Following the budget speech this year the proposed sugar tax has come under severe scrutiny from industry and raised a number of urgent questions. Government has proposed that sugar-sweetened drinks be taxed at a rate of 2.10 cents per gram of sugar and that the first 4 grams of sugar will be free but what does this tax mean for the food & beverage industry and what will the ramifications be? Does SA need a sugar tax at all, and how effective will it be?
Dr. Ferdie Schneider, head of tax, BDO
13:50 - 14:15A regulatory perspective: Labelling as a type of food fraud
Food fraud as such is not defined in South Africa, however, there are labelling laws and product composition laws which must be complied with. A labelling error can be tantamount to food fraud and may be a contravention of applicable legal provisions. Counterfeit goods and food fraud should not be confused, however, with counterfeit goods referring to the branding of a product whereas food fraud mainly relating to the composition thereof. Thus, some counterfeit foods may have the right composition but be counterfeit nonetheless. Enforcement of the various laws which can be used to combat food fraud in South Africa takes place at various levels in different government departments, however, the one with the biggest stick is probably the NCC in terms of the Consumer Protection Act as this carries the potential of a very large financial penalty.
Janusz Luterek, partner: food & consumer law, Hahn & Hahn
14:20 - 14:40How online retailing is changing shopping forever in South Africa
There is a revolution going on in consumer spending… and it’s online. From the weekly grocery shop being delivered to your home, right through to expensive purchases like TVs and clothing. This is the growth opportunity in retail. The boom in online spending across Europe and the USA in the past decade is being repeated across Africa. Mobile access is number one entry point and reliable delivery systems are the key to success with courier companies investing millions of Rand to keep pace with growth. Understand the opportunities and discover how you can develop your online business – big or small. The world is already littered with big retailers who failed to recognise early enough the changing habits of their customers.
Marike van der Merwe, head of merchandising, NetFlorist
Varun Cheemra, regional manager, ecommerce sales – sub saharan Africa, DHL Express Africa
14:45 - 15:15Enhancing productivity through innovative processing, preservation and packaging plant technology
This session will explore some of the latest developments in food processing technology and innovation from one of the industry’s most advanced and profitable players. How do you integrate innovative technologies and practices? How can you ensure that your manufacturing processes are agile? How should you balance potentially competing demands like the demand for natural preserves and extended shelf life, or revenue growth against a continual need for cost reduction?
An interview with Louis van Wyk, factory manager, Nestlé
15:30 - 16:00Examining the latest in store consumer trends: What does it take to attract customers to spend when their purchasing behaviours and drivers are constantly changing?
This year’s seen a big focus on understanding the evolution of the customer’s journey to purchase using brand building efforts and personalised touch points. This session looks at consumer trends and ways to encourage people into your store, as well as how to keep them there and ensuring that they buy. It’ll provide a wide variety of insights, ranging from an examination of future buying trends; how you meet the needs of consumers, and tips on how to make your merchandise more attractive. It’ll also attempt to answer perennial questions like: what are the key drivers of consumer spending? Is shopping simply a leisure activity? How well do you know your existing customers and how do you keep on track of all of these changing factors?
Sandra Rogers, ex-creative executive vm and store design, Edcon
Jessica Pillay, store manager, East Rand Mall, Edcon
*Conference programme subject to change