The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in association with the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) and the Sri Lanka High Commission in India organised Sri Lanka’s participation for the first time, at the ‘Indusfood – Tech 2020’ Trade Fair, held from 8 to 10 January, in India to showcase Sri Lanka’s processed food and beverage industry. 34 representatives from Small and Medium (SMEs) companies were selected to join the mission to explore opportunities to establish business linkages.
The main objective of participation was to identify potential buyers to promote products from Sri Lanka, sourcing machinery, equipment and raw materials required for the food industry. In addition, SMEs were facilitated to observe market requirements, strengths of competitors, labelling requirements and pricing. Indusfood – Tech 2020 was organised by The Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) as one of its annual International Trade Fairs from 8 to 10 January, at the India Exposition Mart, Greater Noida, India. Indusfood – Tech 2020 is a global platform to showcase food and drink technology and equipment to the food processing companies in India and the world. Sectors covered at the Trade Fair includes Food and Beverage Processing, Drink Technology, Food Packaging and Labelling, Automation and Controls and Supply Chain Solutions.
In recognition of the strong links established by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with the Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI), all 34 Sri Lankan SMEs were provided with return air tickets, four nights’ hotel accommodation at a five-star hotel in Delhi and local transport including airport transfers. In addition, post event tours to manufacturing plants were organised for the benefit of SMEs to identify suitable machinery/equipment for expansion of their manufacturing capacities. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with a history of over 180 years, assist SMEs in Sri Lanka to venture into foreign markets through its strong linkages established with over 128 countries where Memoranda of Understanding have been signed to develop bilateral trade.
The 34 SME delegates are dealing with dairy products, processed food, meat products, poultry, spices, specialised varieties of rice, value added tea, fruits such as high breed mango varieties and confectionary.
A.H.M. Basheer, Chairman, Apsara Agri Impex, Azahim Ali, Chief Executive Officer, Arogya Farm Ltd., Arumugam Pathmanathan, General Manager, Caravan Fresh, Sajith Gunaratne, Deputy General Manager, Ceylon Agro Industries Ltd., Manjula Priyadarshana, Executive Director, Ceylon Nutrinut Holdings Ltd., D.D.C. Deepal, Director, Chutiduwa Group of Companies, Gayan Dhanayake, Manager, D & M Products, Janaki Amarasinghe, Chairperson, D.J. Products, Roshan Chandraratne, Production Manager, Dilani Rice, W. Bandara, Manager, Ellawala Horticulture Ltd., Saman Kankanamge, Director – Sales, Enrich Tea and Food Exports Ltd., Wasantha Ariyathilake, Director – Purchasing, Hettigoda Industries Ltd., Haris Humam, Managing Director, Island Hills, Palitha Nagahawaththa, Director, JAY Foods Lanka Ltd., Harsha Uduwana, Manager – Sales, Komarika International Ltd., Duminda Weerasinghe, Chief Executive Officer, Lakmee Exports Lanka Co. Ltd., Sunil Rodrigo, Chairman, Lili Cheese Ltd., Samantha Mirandu, Founder, Liven, Sharaf Basheer, CEO/Managing Director, Milma General Trading Ltd., Eddie Nanayakkara, Chairman, Nelna Agri Development Ltd., Chamara Kudamaduwage, Production Manager, Pussalla Meat Producers Ltd., Sunil Atapattu, Managing Director, Rainbow Marketing Ltd., Daminda Perera, Managing Director, Rasoda Dairies Ltd., Nadeera Silva, Proprietor, S & N Products, Pubudu Megodawickrama, Asst. Production Planning Manager, SriLankan Catering Ltd., Sunanda Weerasinghe, Chairperson, Sujan International Ltd., M.C.M. Subair, Chairman, Teemah Biscuit Manufacturers, Tharaka Sandaruwan, Proprietor, Tharaka Products, Kithsiri Sumanasekara, Manager and Jayantha Wanigasekera, Managing Director of Uruwala Tea Factory Ltd., Aruna Sri Wanasinghe, General Manager, Wichy Plantation Company Ltd. were the delegates represented the SME sector mission which was co-ordinated by Lilakshini de Mel, Senior Assistant Secretary General of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Delegates were facilitated to attend sectoral round table discussions and meet over 1,000 foreign delegates from Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, USA, etc. in addition to over 1,200 business partners from India during the B2B Meeting sessions on 8 and 9 January. A wide array of products and services related to food industry were showcased by 600 Indian exhibitors at the Trade Fair.
“We found importers from India USA and South Africa for exporting of spices, organic pepper, cinnamon and coconut oil. At present we are negotiating with these buyers,” said Rainbow Marketing Ltd. Managing Director Sunil Atapattu. Chutiduwa Group of Companies Director Chandana Deepal indicated that his participation helped to learn the importance of value addition to products export from Sri Lanka considering the quantum of value addition that has helped India to expand their market segments for Indian spices and confectionary.
Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi Minister (Commercial) Upekkha Samaratunga met the delegates at the Trade Fair and offered support to take follow up action to establish post event business linkages. “All the delegates received positive responses at the trade fair and we will consider our participation at the Indusfood – Tech 2021 as well. Our participation made several inroads to enter into Indian market due to large number of positive responses received,” said Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Senior Assistant Secretary General Lilakshini de Mel.
India having a population base of over 1.3 billion offers a large demand driven market. The total consumption of the food and beverage segment domestically is expected to reach to $ 1.142 trillion by 2025. India is the top global producer of meat, milk, castor seeds, sesame, mango, banana, chickpeas and is among the top producers globally for rice, wheat, sugarcane, tea, spices, onion, potatoes, and many others. With the new agri-export policy, the Indian F&B exports is expected to grow from $ 32 billion to $ 70 billion by end 2020.
Growing level of income, falling poverty, changing lifestyles and companies racing to capture India’s middle and upper middle class consumers will cause the food market to evolve dramatically in the coming years. This unique combination on one hand makes the Indusfood – Tech Trade Fair interesting for purchasers from all sales channels, such as the wholesale and retail trade, importers and trading companies and on the other hand, the Trade Fair also addresses experts from the out-of home market, such as catering companies, hotels, resorts, restaurants and food service suppliers.
As a pure B2B trade fair presenting a broad range of foods and beverages, Indusfood – Tech 2020 offered an outstanding platform for acquiring information, placing orders and networking.