SA products catch the eye in Brazil

23 July 2013

South African products were well received by Brazilian importers, business associations and supermarkets during a five-day outward selling mission that ended in Sao Paulo on Friday.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which led a South African business delegation on the mission, said on Monday that the trip had yielded “great trade leads”.

According to the DTI, one of the major supermarkets in Sao Paulo had a second buyers’ meeting with all the SA delegation businesses, with the executive director of Cape Town-based Bayede Marketing, Antoinette Vermooten, saying that some of their wines and rooibos teas were highly recommended by the buyers.

“We were given an opportunity to demonstrate some of the unique features that our products have, and some of the buyers had an opportunity to taste our products and tell us which areas we need to improve on in order to adapt to the Brazilian market”, Vermooten said in a statement on Tuesday.

She indicated that she had clinched a deal with the supermarket and that some of her wines and rooibos would be going to Sao Paulo on a test basis for an initial six-month period.

According to Willem van der Spuy, a foreign economic representative at the DTI, last week’s mission focused on promoting products in the agro-processing sector such as wine, juice, rooibos tea, chili-sauce, powdered milk shakes, dried health foods and cereals.

“The Brazil market is dynamic, and one of the sectors in which the two countries are competing is agro-processing,” Van der Spuy said last week. “There is therefore a need for South African businesses to offer products which are complimentary, competitive and have advantage over their counterparts.”

Van der Spuy added that another trade and investment event was being scheduled for October, with a number of Brazilian cities targeted.

“Brazil offers a long-term business market for South African businesses, and therefore we need time to get the approach right and work on building long-term relationships with potential importers and buyers.”

Another of the delegates on last week’s mission, Shineon Hadebe, the chief executive of Pretoria-based Sunshine Dunes, said his company was already exporting fruit juices to Russia and the UK, and that Brazil presented an opportunity to expand his business into South America.

“The trade seminars and meetings that I have attended so far with potential buyers have shown that there is an interest in the market for me to try out my product. The site visits have also shown gaps and opportunities for emerging exporters such as me to partner with potential importers and supermarkets,” Hadebe said.

South Africa’s export of wines and juices to Brazil has increased over the last five years, according to the DTI, with the country being Brazil’s eighth-largest wine supplier and sixth-largest juice supplier in 2012.

Overall, South African exports to Brazil reached around US$848.6-million in 2012, with the top exports including base materials, herbicides, vehicle engines and chemicals.

SAinfo reporter