Dozens of fresh produce companies trading in everything from avocados to hazelnuts from Africa and Eastern Europe have participated in a unique online edition of a leading fruit and vegetable trade fair.
ITC experts assisted the companies in navigating the novel format of United Fresh LIVE! which comprises virtual booths, chat functions and digital marketing material.
The European Union (EU)- East African Community (EAC) Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) teamed up with ITC's SheTrades Initiative on a webinar with tips on talking to buyers and potential partners and how to use booth chat functions.
The EU-EAC MARKUP booth featured fresh produce from Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania including avocados and avocado products, beans and peas, Caribbean chillies, mangos, passion fruit, green, red, and yellow bell peppers, Ravaya aubergines, ginger and herbs.
Meanwhile, SheTrades Commonwealth supported the participation of 20 women-led small and medium-sized enterprises in the horticulture and spices sectors.
In its support for exhibitors from Africa and Eastern Europe, ITC provided daily support, created business catalogues and helped 'build' the virtual booths.
Four booths representing companies and trade promotion organizations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine were supported by two ITC projects: the the European Union-funded 'Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade - an EU4Business initiative' and a Sweden-funded fruit and vegetable project in the south of Ukraine.
The Taste with Ukraine booth features products including frozenand freeze-dried berries, jams and marinades, and organic berries, as well as such products as berry fillings and fillers, syrups and toppings, drinks, sweets, purees including baby food, and snacks.
More than 50 Ukrainian companies, including 34 berry companies and seven business support organizations are attending the trade fair.
The Ready to Trade project also supported the participation of 17 companies from Georgia at the Georgia − Flavors of Life booth. Buyers and business partners can meet exporters of juice, tea, dried fruits (included freeze-dries fruits and vegetables) and hazelnuts.
Similarly, the #FullFruitArmenia booth for more than 50 Armenian exporters of dried fruit, canned fruit and vegetables, herbal tea and organic products was also supported by ITC and Ready to Trade.
In addition, the Taste of Azerbaijan booth featured eight companies, including six beneficiaries of Ready to Trade project, showing both processed fruits (fruit chips, preserves, sauces), and fresh fruits and vegetables (blueberries, tomatoes, apricots), as well as honey.
The Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade - an EU4Business Initiative helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access new markets with a focus on the EU, helping SMEs comply with quality and standards to meet international requirements, linking them with buyers along the value chain, and providing advisory support.
The Linking Ukrainian SMEs in the fruit and vegetable sector to global and domestic markets and value chains project helps small and medium-sized enterprises in thefruit, vegetable and nut sectors integrate into domestic and global value chains and access new markets.
'United Fresh LIVE! is open for business, but unlike trade shows that you've experienced in the past, it's not for a few hours or a few days,' United Fresh president and CEO Tom Stenzel said. 'We are now open 24/7, all the way through the summer, so you're going to have the opportunity to come back many times.'