KENYA – A new series of virtual seminars have been launched to help define the future of sustainable business in Africa’s food, retail and hospitality industry, as the Continent continues to face risks brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The AFMASS Food Expo Virtual Seminars (or webinars), which are organized by FW Africa, the leading publisher of trade magazines and events organizer focused on the B2B industry in Africa, will cover a number of key industry sectors and issues across the food industry value chain that are of interest to African food businesses.

“The food, retail and hospitality industry in Africa have come from a period of unprecedented growth, as changing consumer consumption habits, improving economies and a rise in young, urban population boost the demand for packaged food products and leisure across the Continent.

“However, the Covid-19 crisis has, for the first time, introduced a level of uncertainty and severe impact to operations that the industry has never seen before.  

“These webinars will, for the first time, enable the sharing of experiences and ideas that the stakeholders in the food, retail and hospitality value chain in Africa can adopt to take advantage of new opportunities while reducing risks in their operations,” says Francis Juma, the team leader at FW Africa, the organisers of the webinars.

According to Juma, the webinars are organized in the following areas, which will run one after the other:

  • Food Safety & Compliance
  • Sustainable Dairy 
  • Sustainable Grains, Milling & Baking 
  • Sustainable Brewing & Drinks

“We have plans to originally have discussions focusing on the four key areas above, since the dairy, grains and beverage sectors are some of the most important economically in Africa; while food safety and compliance have an overarching role in the whole supply chain in the Continent, especially at this time of the pandemic. We shall be organizing other webinars covering a number of other issues and sectors in the near future,” he added.

Africa’s food, retail and hospitality industry faces an uncertain future in the face of the Covid-19 – from risks to the personnel, business continuity and sustainability and risks associated with reduced incomes and loss of employment.

Francis Juma

Set to be addressed by a number of key visionaries and industry leaders across the food, retail and hospitality industry in Africa – including investors, managers, suppliers, consultants, Government officials and NGO/development organisations managers, the webinars are aimed at enabling the sharing of best practices and new technologies that industry stakeholders can adopt during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, with a focus on how a sustainable food, retail and hospitality industry value chain can be secured at this time.

Focus on the whole value chain

According to Juma, the webinar sessions shall be attended by stakeholders across the food, retail and hospitality value chain, including food manufacturers, retailers and distributors; hotels, restaurants and catering operators; suppliers of various technologies; academicians and researchers and Government agencies and NGOs from Africa and beyond.

Each of the webinar sessions is planned to cover the following issues: the impact of Covid-19 to businesses; business and trade outlook; technologies and innovations opportunities; sustainable operations and investment outlook; and any regulatory changes that could be implemented by the authorities in the face of the pandemic.

“Africa’s food, retail and hospitality industry faces an uncertain future in the face of the Covid-19 – from risks to the personnel, business continuity and sustainability and risks associated with reduced incomes and loss of employment.

“We do hope that these webinars shall be the platform from which key decision makers can learn some of the ideas they can implement in their businesses; while also networking with other stakeholders across the value chain.”

He added that since the announcement of the new webinars, hundreds of participants have signed up to attend the various sessions, with many of the attendees signing up from across Africa and other continents.

“The pace of signing up has been overwhelming to us – we had no idea the response would be so great and fast! This truly shows the unique power of the Internet and its role during and after Covid-19. It is a sign of the way such events may be held in future!” he concluded.

For more information about the webinars and to sign up to attend, visit www.afmass.com/webinars

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