Gulf Food Fair Visits Turn Over Businesses
The livelihood of pastoralist families is dependent on incomes from livestock and livestock products. Addressing constraints to the export market and domestic trade, and improving the livestock market information system has, therefore, a direct benefit to improving pastoralist livelihoods. One of PRIME’s objectives is to improve market access through several interventions one of which is facilitating market linkages between producers, exporters, retailers, wholesalers and government structures.
Ato Bereket Demeke, a resident of Yabelo, has been in the livestock trading business for as long as he remembers, following his father’s footsteps; however, it wasn’t until 2002 that he set up a legal firm to trade in live animals. Demeke provided livestock animals to domestic markets, including Addis Ababa. “Export market in those days was somehow unthinkable for us,” Demeke recalls how export market was monopolized by few individuals. In 2004, however, Bereket noticed a new development; importers started to come to Ethiopia looking for clients who could supply live animals. He soon took advantage of the market development and got into the export business, which proved to be more lucrative. USAID’s support to attend the Gulf Food Fair in 2012 was an eye opener for him. His business has been doing well ever since.
Bereket has been attending the Gulf Food Fair consistently and his business is growing. USAID supported his trip to Dubai for the second time through PRIME in 2015. In the event, he distributed more than 200 business cards and 300 brochures, and networked with 47 firms. His participation has started to bear fruits already and business prospects for Bereket couldn’t be brighter. A couple of companies have already placed orderes valued $3,970,000. He has also sent proforma invoice for some and entered into negotiations with about six businesses from Oman, Bahrain, Libya, Egypt and Dubai. “On the whole,” says Bereket, “Business has never looked more promising to me. By the end of April, I expect my sales to grow by at least 25 percent. That surely will turn over my business.”
USAID, through PRIME, supports participation of Ethiopia’s export abattoirs, live animal exporters, milk processors, and government focal persons in Gulf Food Fair every year.
Bereket Demeke, Livestock Exporter (middle), is negotiating with live animal importers at the Gulf Food Fair.
USAID-PRIME supported 14 businesses and a government focal person to participate in the 2015 event, which was held from 8-12 February 2015. Ethiopian businesses took an advantage of the event to showcase what Ethiopia can offer to the most preferred export destinations markets in the Middle East and beyond. A number of fruitful face to face negotiations were conducted and several business deals were concluded. All traders managed to get contract and other promising business deals; the participation resulted in accruing above $6,210,600 value of foreign currency earnings.
Gulf Food Fair, one of the world’s largest and most important food and beverage industry event, is annually organized by Dubai World Trade Centre in the United Arab Emirates. It is a strategic platform for buyers and sellers to conduct direct business face to face. The exhibition is a showcase for manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers from around the world, representing all of the key sectors within the food and hospitality trade. Every year, it welcomes tens of thousands of trade visitors from around the world at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). With a record 113,398m² in exhibition space and 4,500 companies from 120 countries participating, Gulfood 2015 was the largest edition in the event’s history.
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