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The 22nd edition of WorldFood Moscow, an international exhibition for food products, took place Sept.16-19 at the Expocentre in Moscow.

National groups from Poland, Tunisia, Dubai, Palestine, Brazil, Romania, the UK and South Africa exhibited for the first time. Furthermore, the show witnessed the highest amount of exhibitors and unique visitors to date. Over four days, 1,634 companies congregated to showcase brands from 69 countries, increase their business and learn more about the growing Russian market.

South Africa had a large presence, exhibiting with 25 companies. The national group showcased appetizing South African exports, including wines, preserves, fruit and other popular cuisines from the country. Trade associations EBLEX, MATRADE and AWEX also premiered at the event.

“This is our first time exhibiting at WorldFood Moscow,” said Fabio Mauro, director, Wallonia Foreign Trade & Investment Agency (AWEX). “There are a lot of markets [that] are developing at the moment. Russia is one of them. Overall, the impression is great, so we will definitely come back next year.”

Both Indonesian and Vietnam national group stands had a two-fold increase in their representation. In addition, Spain vastly increased their exhibition space, and Italy and Greece had a large presentation.

An extensive business program took place alongside the exhibition, which this year included the Product of the Year, the Food Forum and the New Product Showcase. In addition, live cooking demonstrations brought the show to life as exhibitors and visitors experienced the smells, sounds and tastes of the produce offered.

As well as the aforementioned events, the Retail Centre returned to the show. This dedicated service enables companies to directly negotiate with Russia’s leading retail chains and national supermarkets.

“We have seen a fantastic amount of customers from nearly every different sector of the food industry, including the top five retailers in Russia, who have been around our stand,” said Richard Green, international sales manager, Coombe Castle. “Already we have had direct responses, and we have signed a contract with a new distributor. WorldFood Moscow has been a great success.”

International support and presence at the event was also strong. Speakers at the opening ceremony included Mandisi Mpahlwa, Ambassador of South Africa in Russia; Owen Patterson, UK’s Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; and Sergey Doronin, Deputy Chairman from the State of Duma, Russia. Their presence was further enhanced with international buyer delegations eager to find out more about Russia’s food and drink market.

“We are delighted with the increased amount of exhibitors this year; this is testament to WorldFood Moscow and Russia’s increasing global importance,” said Tony Higginson, head of sales, ITE Group plc. “We’ve received positive feedback from our participants regarding this dynamic market, many of whom have had successful negotiations onsite. I look forward to next year’s edition of the show – which I am sure will be another success.”

The 23rd edition of WorldFood Moscow will take place Sept. 15-18, 2014.

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