Africa’s premier food and beverage trade show boast a strong line up of key speakers for its exclusive three-day conference in June.

The Food Forum 2017 is a three-day conference focused on key issues across the food sector – from new developments and trends in the restaurant and hospitality sector on day one, through to the manufacturing and processing industry on day two and on the final day, the focus falls on farming and agribusiness.

“This is a major conference for the food industry at the centre of one of the continent’s most well-established food and beverage shows,” says David Ross, dmg events’ content head, which brings international expertise to the event.

“Each day is themed and targeted at specific areas of the industry focused on the key issues but mindful of the special requirements of the sub-Saharan sector.”

He explained that delegates also gain career-enhancing recognition for attending the Food Forum 2017. Each session earns Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation for attendees. CPD has been operating around the world and international show organiser dmg events, which bought Africa’s Big 7 (AB7) last year, introduces it to South Africa in 2017. CPD benefits the employee, the employer and ensures dmg conferences are of recognised international standard.

The Food Forum first day is focused on ‘market perspectives and growth strategies’, where delegates include executive chefs, heads of f&b as well as individuals responsible for sourcing and buying. The day starts with Wendy Albert, the CEO of the Restaurant Association of South Africa, with an overview of South African food retail and restaurants looking at key drivers and trends for the future.

The second day is about packaging and production with attendees including plant owners and managers alongside engineers and machinery experts from the food sector. As well as new innovations, there will be sessions on enhancing productivity, improving supply chains and understanding the changing expectation of consumers. Among the speakers are Paul Raphaely, Co-Founder of Nomu Brands, revealing exclusive consumer research and how it acts as a guide to the future.

Mark Sack, the MD of Sally Williams Fine Foods, is a key panelist at The Food Forum, who brings two decades of experience. In the past 18 months, he’s overseen the launch of a new ice cream manufacturing plant as well as a foray into retail in the upmarket district of Sandton, Johannesburg. He has breadth of experience and first-hand knowledge to share.

Special features at AB7 2017 includes Café Culture featuring competitions and barista expertise with a healthy blend of mixology and The Ultimate Hotel Chef Challenge 2017, which will bring together sub-Saharan Africa’s finest in a showdown worthy of Africa’s premier food show.

AB7, now in its 16th year, was acquired last year by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa and its Africa Vice President Christine Davidson explained the decision to rebrand and refocus such a long standing industry show.

“The Food Forum is a centerpiece of the new AB7 brand,” she said. “The f&b industry has changed at such a pace and Africa’s Big 7 now reflects that, with a new focus on specialist ingredients, flavours, food trends and the latest production and technology driven processes.

“This year’s show will meet all buyers’ needs, offering essential information, live demonstrations and discussion… with a bit of inspiration too. Whether visitors are chefs, restaurant or café owners or managers – all will find everything they need at AB7 whether on the show floor, in the conference or at live demonstrations, training, networking or presentations”

The rebranded AB7, and The Food Forum, is co-located with SAITEX 2017 – Africa’s largest product sourcing event – and The Hotel Show Africa 2017, one of the world’s most successful hospitality event brands, at The Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, from June 25 to 27.

You can see the full Food Forum conference programme at and also register for show and conference passes.

Press information

The 15th edition of Africa’s Big 7 (AB7) runs from June 25-27 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
Africa’s Big 7, was acquired in 2016 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

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

For further information, please contact:
Gary Wright, 
Head of PR & Comms, dmg-ems Africa
E: [email protected]
T: +27 (0) 11 783 7250
A: P O Box 650302 BENMORE 2010, South Africa