EDB thrust for F&B sector

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Organises local participation at Fine Food 2011

The Sri Lankan processed food and beverage industry is one of the rapidly growing industries in the country. It has recorded a 12% steady annual growth during the past few years.

According to the Sri Lanka Food Processors’ Association, the investment in the processed food sector accounts for more than Rs. 50 billion. Considering the demand from outside counties and the rapid growth in past few years, the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) has identified this sector as a priority product sector to be increased its export value to reach US$ 1 billion by 2015.

EDB Chairman and Chief Executive Janaka Ratnayake at the recent launching ceremony of the EDB’s Strategic Plan said that one of the major objectives of the new strategic plan was to increase exports to markets other than the EU and the USA by over 50 per cent by 2015, while consolidating the market position in the EU and the USA and to pay particular attention to seven identified key product sectors which would contribute over 80 per cent of total export value.

The development and promotion of the Food and Beverages sector has been identified as a priority area among seven leading product sectors.

In the ‘Mahinda Chinthana,’ this sector has also been identified as a focal sector to be developed and to achieve an export target of US$ 1 billion in 2015. Further the zero tax concession for the processed food items and tax policies for unprocessed and semi processed items as per the proposal in Budget 2011 will boost the development of this sector.

The EDB being the apex organisation of the Government for promotion and development of exports from Sri Lanka, has been formulating various types of assistance schemes from time to time to promote export of Sri Lankan products at the international market.

In this connection trade fair participation has identified as the key promotional tool which can beneficial to countries like Sri Lanka to penetrate the international market. To find new markets, keep in touch with existing contacts and explore new trends and opportunities, the SLEDB has accompanied exporters/manufacturers at international trade fairs and promotional activities for the last 30 years.

However, with the commitment of the Government and the present management, the EDB is in the process of organising the world’s most important trade fairs related to the processed food and beverages sector with the introduction of new features and activities.

Introduction of a country pavilion up to international standards to attract new buyers and also publicising the Sri Lankan food products prior to the exhibition among target groups are some of the activities included in the programme to attract more visitors.

Fine Food 2011

According to the trade fair authorities, Fine Food has earned the reputation as Australia’s only truly international event for the food industry. This is the place to find the newest and best products and services on offer and stay abreast of what’s hot and happening in the industry.

The fair commenced in 1984 and approximately 1,000 exhibitors all around the world exhibit their products annually and over 30, 000 trade visitors are attracted to this event. The next show will be held from 5 to 8 September 2011 at the Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre in Victoria, Australia.

The exhibition will cover the following areas.

  • Food
  • Confectionary world
  • Drinks world
  • Flavours of the world
  • Natural products
  • Bakery world
  • Gourmet food
  • Meat and seafood world
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy world
  • Equipment
  • Packaging world
  • Retail equipment
  • Hospitality
  • Catering equipment

Why should Sri Lanka participate?

 Australia is a country mixed with several nations from English, Chinese American and Asian origin with a population of 22,514,321 (2006). Compared to other countries in the world, it shows a higher Asian population of 5.79 % while our major processed food market such as USA and UK show an Asian population of 4.5% and 3.4% respectively.

The figures show that there is a growing demand for our fruits and vegetables, processed foods, fruit juices and bakery products and beverages in the Australian market.

With the vibrant state of the food and beverage industry in Sri Lanka at present, EDB is planning to expand our exports to Australia by participating in events like Fine Food Australia 2011 with eight to 10 exporting companies in the country.

The EDB in collaboration with the Sri Lanka High Commission in Australia will organise Sri Lanka’s participation at this event. Participation of Sri Lankan exporters at Fine Food is being organised for the first time by the EDB.

Taking part in this trade fair would help the food and beverage exporters in the country meet their existing buyers, secure new contacts and promote their products internationally.