Pran-RFL Group booked export orders worth around $2.45 million during the five-day SIAL fair in Paris that concluded yesterday, officials of the company said.
Most of the orders were from African countries, while the company got some new customers from the US, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the UAE.
The Bangladeshi food and agro processor, which displayed around 150 products at the show, now exports to 108 countries and has a presence in almost all the continents.
Besides the confirmed orders, Pran is in talks with buyers for deals worth around $1.2 million, said Md Mizanur Rahman, its chief of export.
The company is also in the process to strike some contract manufacturing agreements with wholesalers and distributors from countries such as the US, the UK, Spain, Brazil, South Africa, the Netherlands and France.
These contract manufacturing deals may bring another $5 million, Rahman said.
“The response from visitors was beyond our expectation. This year we participated in the fair in two categories. Next time, we will come with more products.”
The major products that the company displayed at the show include fruit drinks and juices, spices, noodles, chanachur, chips, milk, rice, puffed rice, yogurt, biscuits, cake, pickles, sauce, jams and jelly.
More than 6,000 food processors from around 100 countries gathered at the SIAL fair to expand market and win new business. The show saw visitors from around 200 countries -- from different sectors of the food processing industry, such as distribution, food services, trade and viticulture.
Around 70 percent of the visitors came to the fair in search of new products and suppliers, organisers said. At the biennial SIAL (Salon International de l'Agroalimentaire), 85 percent stalls were from international companies and the rest were from France.
“Each time we held the event, we were determined to make SIAL Paris much more than a trade show… It is a multicultural network, a focus of interaction and inspiration supporting enterprises in achieving their future success,” said Nicolas Trentesaux, director of SIAL Group, the organiser of the show.
“With our 50 years of experience and a worldwide presence supported by the 10 trade shows we hold throughout the world, SIAL has become the true crossroads of world agri-food supply and demand,” he said in a web posting.
SIAL is an export platform offering producers and buyers the opportunity to develop the foundations for a partnership that matches their needs, Trentesaux said. The show that displayed 400,000 items drew nearly 150,000 visitors.
However, the organisers were yet to calculate the total number and value of the export orders that were confirmed during the show.
Meanwhile, participants expressed satisfaction and said their goals were achieved. “The response at the show was very good, especially on the first three days,” said Massimo Valenza, a senior official of Freddi, an Italian brand for cake.
The company exports to 90 countries, including China, Japan, Malaysia and Korea, and has been participating in the show for the last 20 years.
Valenza said they confirmed 20 orders, mainly from African traders, and met some new customers, but he did not disclose the value of the orders.
Theodoros Zavos, managing director of Cyprus-based Alion Vegetables & Fruit Company Ltd, said they took part in the fair for the 10th time.
“I am happy with the response this time,” he said, adding that more than 10 new companies showed interest in their products. They send 10 tonnes of vegetables and fruits everyday to different European countries, including England, France and Germany.
Medi Erfant, financial manager of Dana Dairy Group, said some of their permanent customers have reconfirmed orders at the show. The company based in Switzerland participated in the fair for the first time. “The response was good,” the official said. The company now covers markets such as Bangladesh, some African countries, the Middle East, China and India.
However, Vinod Kumar R, vice president (sales and commercial) of Western India Cashew Company, was not happy with the response as they did not get any new export order at the fair. “Meeting new customers was our main objective, not export orders,” said the official of the Kerala-based company that exports cashews to markets like the US, Japan, Germany and the Netherlands.
Md Mizanur Rahman of Pran-RFL Group said they met around 300 new and 50 old customers at the fair.
“Old customers were asking about our new products. We shared our business plans with them, listened to their problems and gave them sales targets for the next one year,” he said.
Pran exported products worth $150 million last fiscal year and eyes a 70 percent growth in the current year, Rahman said.
To achieve the target, the company is preparing its sales personnel to give them posting in overseas markets. It has now offices in 12 countries, including the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Singapore, the UAE, Angola, Malaysia and India.
Amirul Huda, proprietor of Global Enterprise A&S, said they have been importing Pran products for the last 10 years, mainly for markets in Sweden and Finland where they have around 20,000 customers.
The products that Global Enterprise buys from Pran include spices, juice, rice, mustard oil and biscuits. Expatriates from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the Swedish people also buy these products, Huda said.