Minimising food waste will be key issue at Africa’s largest food retail exhibition in Johannesburg in June.


As southern Africa recovers from one of its severest droughts and comes to terms with soaring food prices, the real cost of waste has never been more relevant.


Africa’s Big Seven (AB7) is the continent’s biggest food and beverage expo and alongside hundreds of exhibitor, it plays host to the three-day conference The Food Forum, from June 19 to 21 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.


First details of the Food Forum conference programme and speakers have been released today by the organiser dmg-ems Africa and as well as food waste, there will be sessions on the future of Halal food in the region and preserving the region’s food supply.


“In conjunction with our partners, we will run a combination of panel debates and speaker presentations over the three days covering the spectrum of issues affecting the food market in Africa,” said Christine Davidson, Vice President of dmg-ems Africa.


The session titled “Is a best-before code really necessary and what is the cost of food wasted each year?” will focus on the difference between best before and expiry dates, understanding the law and where money can be saved.


Alongside that session, the Food Forum will also host a panel discussion of food supply in southern Africa. It looks at the main challenges facing the region – especially following the winter drought – and how food exports can continue to meet foreign orders but still ensure food supply for the population.


AB7 attracts manufacturers, retailers, distributors and exporters so its conference programme also includes sessions on developments in the trade.


“We will be looking at the supply in the hospitality sector to hear what chefs, hoteliers and restaurateurs want but also finding out what suppliers have had success with around the world,” said Davidson.


Confirmed speakers at the event so far include include Dr Mandala Buthelezi, Deputy President National, National African Farmers Union, Philip Usiba, Deputy President, Foundation of African Business and Consumer Services, Dr Burton Malgas, Director at Wholesale and Retail Leadership, Dr Adewale Banjo, Director at the research practise Afri Wealth and Dr Mandla Buthelezi of the African Farmers Association of South Africa.


Another session that is set to be popular is a look at the growth of Halal food in the region reflected by the involvement of The South African National Halal Authority in the event as a whole.


“The session will offer attendees the chance to understand what food meets Halal requirements and why this is becoming increasingly important across the world, not least when it is tied to tourism,” said Davidson.


Africa’s Big 7 (AB7) runs from June 19-21 at The Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the continent’s largest food and beverage industry trade expo. Its seven specialised sectors cover everything from fresh produce and ingredients to manufacturing technologies, processing and packaging equipment, retail ready products, hospitality and catering equipment and much more. For more information visit www.africabig7.com


Africa’s Big 7, was acquired in March by dmg ems Africa events, part of dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, a wholly owned subsidiary of Daily Mail & General Trust (DMGT).


dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa was founded in 1989 and has operated in the Middle East since 1995 and owns some the region’s biggest shows including The Hotel Show and The Big 5. Headquartered in Dubai, UAE and with satellite offices in India, South Africa and the UK, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa organises more than 45 events across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. The events attract more than 250,000 customers every year and provide opportunities for trade professionals to do business, network and learn. For more information visit www.dmgeventsme.com


DMGT manages a balanced multinational portfolio of entrepreneurial companies, with total revenues of almost $3bn, that provide a diverse range of businesses and consumers with compelling information, analysis, insight, news and entertainment. The company employs more than 10,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. DMGT aims to provide the highest quality information, insight and services to attractive growth markets in innovative ways, building on a track record of earnings and dividend growth. For more information visit www.dmgt.com


For further information, please contact:

Gary Wright,

Head of PR & Comms, dmg-ems Africa

E: garywright@dmgeventsme.com

T: +27 (0) 11 783 7250

W: www.dmgeventsme.com

A: P O Box 650302 BENMORE 2010, South Africa