On August 27th through 29th, the WE4F West Africa Regional Innovation Hub (West Africa RIH) accompanied its new partner Africa Foodies to the Salon Ivoirien de la Boisson et de l’Alimentation Saine (SIBAL). The fair, which was hosted at the Palais de la Culture in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, focuses on healthy beverages and nutrition and brings together a large number of Ivorian food companies to present their products directly to consumers, as well as investors who attend the fair.
Given the challenges of malnutrition and the lack of information on healthy nutrition among the Ivorian population, 2021 marks the first year that the fair was initiated and organized. The companies exhibiting at the fair showed a wide variety of products, from fruit drinks and chocolate, to natural palm and cottonseed oils. Visitors from all over the country joined the fair to taste the flavors of Côte d’Ivoire.
More awareness for sustainable food production
Attending SIBAL helped increase the visibility of the West Africa RIH and Africa Foodies in the ecosystem of the food chain companies in Côte d’Ivoire and the sub-region. With more than 36 national and regional companies and SMEs and more than 12,585 visitors over the three days, the exhibition was an ideal platform for Africa Foodies to meet other innovative companies and potential business partners and to explain its revolutionary new process for producing natural fruit juice. Africa Foodies recorded 1,671 visitors at their stand, sold 667 0.5-liter juice bottles, and initiated partnerships with 580 potential commercial partners. The West Africa Regional Innovation Hub also had the opportunity to present their activities at the fair, getting directly in contact with many potential partners.
The SIBAL was therefore a place of exchange and discussion between professionals of the food sector and consumers on the stakes of healthy food. It was also a platform for each company to highlight the nutritional values and the benefits of their products. For the West Africa RIH, it was a great pleasure to have been part of it.
WE4F’s attendance and partnership with African Foodies, an Ivorian company producing organic fruit juices, contributes to the program’s goal of scaling up innovative SMEs. The partnership aims to produce more sustainable energy for optimal food production through a biodigester. It transforms liquid and solid fruit waste into energy, which optimizing the company’s production and increases the workforce by creating new jobs. Also, the “Digesta”, which is the residual product collected because of the methane production, will be used as fertilizer on the plantations of small producers who supply produce to African Foodies. The biodigester and the partnership is a good example an innovative technology that the WE4F supports scaling in the agricultural sector. All centering on the program’s key goal: produce more and better food with less resources.