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FDT Africa - Petra Westphal

First food & drink technology Africa expo hailed as a great success

Last week’s inaugural food & drink technology Africa trade fair and conference, says its organisers, won rave reviews and has been deemed a success by all involved. The event at Gallagher Convention Centre from 18 – 19 March attracted 84 local and international exhibitors who presented their latest technologies for food and beverage processing and packaging.

Organisers, Petra Westphal, Exhibition Group Director, Messe München International (pictured) and Elaine Crewe, CEO, MMI South Africa, are delighted by the response: “Our aim was to introduce the latest, leading technologies in the industry to the African market, in order to increase the markets competitiveness and growth. We hoped to assist important industry players to build lasting business relationships and partnerships, which we believe we have achieved.”

Westphal said the expo was deliberately kept on the small side and for two days only, with exhibitors advised not to set up large stands: “As a first event, we approached it with circumspect and did not want to go too big and risk disappointment. But we are thrilled with how it turned out, with happy exhibitors and visitors, and I think we’ve set a great platform for future expos,” she told FOODStuff SA.

Dohler SA

Döhler SA’s Hubert Defert.

That many of the big industry names were there – the likes of Krones, GEA, KHS, Roberts Bosch, Ecolab, Döhler, Wild, Pentair and Bühler, among many others – illustrates the interest in the event and the means it offered to reach out into the sub-Saharan African market.

fdt Afrca welcomed around 1 100 participants from various countries, including South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Exhibitors at the event have voiced their satisfaction with the first drinktec edition on African soil. Steffen Manke, GM of Robert Bosch South Africa said: “Our expectations have been exceeded for a first time show in Africa and the quality of visitors has been excellent. fdt Africa was a real success for us.”

Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, was an exhibitor and sponsor of the event. Said a spokesman: “We are very pleased to see drinktec come to the African market… We believe that we have the ability to make a positive impact at our customer operations and in turn a positive impact to the broader society by participating and sponsoring this inaugural African event.”

Emmanuel Rurema, Director Business Development – Africa, Pentair Filtration & Process, added: “Pentair found in this event the opportunity to showcase its latest innovations and integrated solutions in Africa. It was good to meet some of our African customers and connect with new ones.”

Even with it being the premier event, fdt Africa proved to be an excellent platform for doing business as Taryn Browne, Commercial and Marketing Co-ordinator, GEA Mechanical Equipment emphasised: “fdt Africa has now established itself in the market as a trade show that can provide a platform into the industry, we look forward to working together with the organisers to growing the event further.”

The conference programme, organised by the VDMA, running alongside consisted of open and closed sessions with speakers focusing on hygienic, safe and efficient production of high quality food and beverages as well as case studies presented by exhibitors which were relevant to the current industry.

fdt Africa marks a further phase in the internationalisation of drinktec Munich – the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industries. Other events have been set up in India and China. The conceptual sponsor of fdt Africa is the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association of the VDMA (German Engineering Federation).

“With the successful start of fdt Africa the overall market position of drinktec as the world’s leading platform for the beverage and liquid food industry has been emphasised,” agreed Richard Clemens, MD of VDMA and Dr Reinhard Pfeiffer, MD Messe München International.

Additional information and photos for download can be found at

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