UNTAPPED POTENTIAL: Despite Cape Town’s large Muslim population, there’s a gulf in awareness when it comes to tailored products for this market segment, particularly when it comes to hotels and restaurants. Picture: Ross Jansen
Cape Town -The Western Cape’s expansion into new markets for halaal exports is set to be further boosted by Wesgro’s trade mission to Asia. Wesgro, Cape Town and the Western Cape’s tourism, trade and investment agency, is leading a trade delegation to Singapore to showcase the best of the province’s agri-processed halaal products at the Food and Hotel Asia.According to the Western Cape government’s Provincial Economic Review and Outlook 2017, about one-third of total food exports valued at R120billion from the Western Cape was considered “halaal relevant” and the UK was the most significant export market for the province, with R5.5bn of exports from halal relevant sectors.

The show at the Singapore Expo, which opened on Tuesday and ends today, comprises 4000 international exhibitors with innovative food ingredients, halal food beverages, speciality coffee equipment and accessories, unique tea blends, the latest bakery equipment, tableware, furnishing and technology for back-end food service and front-end guest experience.

Wesgro chief executive Tim Harris said Singapore had been a traditional hub for Western Cape products.

“We will use the trade show to unveil new product offerings as well as entice international buyers to visit Cape Town for our halal inward buying mission in mid-October 2018,” said Harris.

He said Singapore offered a unique opportunity for companies gain access to the Asean region, that was rapidly growing and providing tremendous opportunities for the provinces general exports.

“We will be looking to attract investors into our agribusiness sector and boost export agricultural goods through the showcasing of our products.

“Agriculture is a key component of the Western Cape economy and we are working hard, in line with our trade and investment mandate, to assist this sector,” said Harris.

The Western Cape companies participating include ButtaNutt Tree Nut Spreads, Danies Sauces, Good Hope International Beverages, Munch Bowls and newcomers Rush Nutrition and Über Flavour.

Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde said the Western Cape government’s Project Khulisa aimed to grow the number of jobs in agriculture and agri-processing 100000 and had identified growing the province’s halal export offerings as one of the ways to do this.

“The Asian market represents excellent and exciting potential for Western Cape businesses to grow their exports and the Singapore expo provides an excellent platform to do that,” said Winde.