Pro Food Pro Pack and Ag-Biz 2013 from 23-25 August

Monday, 12 August 2013 00:09 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By P. Waruni Pro Foods Pro Pack and Agri Biz 2013 which will be held from 23 to 25 August at the BMICH Exhibition Centre will transform itself into the largest supermarket and trade fair comprising of processed food, beverage, packaging and agriculture. The 12th annual Pro Food/Pro Pack show together with the eighth annual Ag-Biz exhibition is set to be held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall under the theme ‘From the farm to the kitchen. Pro Food Pro Pack and Ag-Biz 2013 will provide the general public and all the stakeholders within the industry a unique and unparalleled experience into the inner workings of the food and beverage industry and will also showcase products and services of each and every component in the process food and packaging industry. The event, which has over the years garnered a reputation for catering to each and every aspect of the food processing industry beginning from the very basic tenets of processing – process, seeds and other raw material – to the end product which is used by the consumer. Elephant House, Keells, Smak and Wijeya products, the main agri-food producers in Sri Lanka and other agri biz companies such as Hayleys Agriculture Holdings (HAHL), A Baur and Co. Ltd. and CIC Agri Business Ltd. will be there to help introduce farming technology, namely in soil and water, and the capacity to improve the genetic profile of crops and animals. Agri-biz companies will introduce the technology of reducing biotic constraints such as diseases, pests and weeds and also supply farmers with sources of affordable renewable energy and integrated water management techniques comprising an array of efficient on-farm water capture, storage, pumping, field application and water scarcity in farming. Important features which include technology, indigenous methods, better resource management techniques, reducing cost of production techniques, creating linkages between farmers-farmers, farmers-companies, farmers-customers and local entrepreneurs, creating opportunities to get better support, technologies for micro enterprise and many more will be exhibited at this exhibition. Sri Lanka Food Processors Association (SLFPA) together with the Professional Exhibition Organiser Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services Ltd. held a press conference at the Cinnamon Grand on the Pro Food Pro Pack 2013 and Ag-Biz and was attended by collaborators and organisers within the field. Dhammika Gunasekara, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the event in his welcome speech emphasised that there will be 340 stalls and 200 companies participating this year and stated that the half of the expenses will be incurred to host one stall by the Government. “We first started the event in 2001 and this is our 13th exhibition. We have overcome all obstacles that we faced earlier and the Ministry of Industry is backing us to succeed.” In 2012, the exhibition was very successful with the  total of 183 organisations (both local and foreign) taking part, with 252 stalls, a total of 22,500 visitors and over 2,300 trade invitees attending the exhibition. The event also featured successful participation from the regional SME sectors with 20 companies and four universities (food science departments) under the banner of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. This year’s exhibition will provide a platform for the Sri Lankan SME sector to showcase its machinery, technology and support services and will also establish links for future business developments. Over 25 genuine SME sector representatives were attracted from many districts of the country in the previous exhibition. This year, the event will address future trends and the need for technology and research in the area of agriculture production. It will focus on the dissemination of knowledge, the uptake of technology in the traditional SME sector and business opportunities. Participators will have a chance to gather on a single platform to network and exchange ideas about their favourite products and special discounts will be on offer on various brands of food and drink. “This is an unbelievable chance for companies, customers and even university students in the field, so don’t miss out on the chance. Take part in the event and get the maximum benefit possible from this single platform,” said Anura Siriwardana, Secretary to the Minister of Industry and Commerce at the press conference. The exhibition this year, as in the past years, will feature the popular ‘Cooking Studio’ comprising renowned chefs from the Cinnamon Grand, one of Sri Lanka’s leading five star hotels. A special mix of oriental, Eastern and Western dishes will be crafted to tantalise the taste buds of all present. Special hourly raffle draws, discounts ranging from 20%-60% on food and beverages, a kiddies’ corner, sampling of consumer favourites from pastas to chocolate and many more will be available to all who visit. Jaffna farmers will also have a chance to be a part of the event as the organisers have promoted the exhibition from the north to the south. Several international certification agencies will also be present to motivate the local companies to get standard certification for their agricultural produce. Agricultural and Processed Food Products of the Export Development Authority (APEDA), an export promotion organisation under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the government of India, exhibitors from Malaysia, Dubai, Singapore and Pakistan will be on show during the three days, adding colour to the event. The organisers thanked their valued sponsors – platinum sponsors Elephant House and PLC Solutions, gold sponsors Nikini Automation and Wijeya Products, silver sponsor Roza Macaroni, official banker National Trust Bank, official insurance provider Sanasa Insurance Company and official printing partner Sharp Printing Holdings.