Start a Food Exporting Business

A food exporting business exports food made in South Africa to other countries.

Market Need
There are a few different circumstances and markets in which our food is exported, despite food not being cheap in SA, international trade is done in the US Dollar and not every country has a farming industry in which subsidies make it cheaper than importing from SA. I will look at 3 maybe you can find more.

  1. First and foremost we have our geographic advantage where some fruits and vegetables that are grown in SA are exported overseas when they are out of season in the foreign market, citrus being a good example.
  2. Then we have our exporting to markets to countries which have no farming industry usually island nations that depend on tourism and this is almost always more premium food, meat and wine to hotels and resorts. A lot of South Africas best quality meat is actually exported where they can sell for a premium.
  3. Then we have a smaller industry of supply South African expats abroad who have emigrated. In some parts of the world, Australia, New Zealand, some states in the US you can walk a kilometre and just hear people speaking Afrikaans and these people often crave things from SA and pay a premium. Yes, they often have butchers that make biltong and shops with popular South African items close by. But there might be an opportunity in smaller places like the West Coast of Mauritius (Tamarin, Flic en Flac, Black river etc.) where some South Africans have moved their families. This market will grow in future.You will find South Africans everywhere and if we look at the trajectory, we are heading in the same direction of countries in which most of their citizens are living abroad. I don’t think that will happen is SA as the ANC’s supporters are likely to go down with the ship.

Finding export markets
Often companies think they can list their products on B2B portals and they will get orders. Almost always there is some kind of infrastructure on the ground, an associate, agent, a local sales office or trips are made to find clients. It does not mean you have to go especially you can mix business with a holiday. While you holidaying in a place take samples with and meet prospective buyers.

One thing that is important to note, and I say this again. A different target market will have a different type of product. The expat community will be happy with basic South African goods, but the countries importing food, meat, wine are usually in the premium sector because they already have suppliers for the basics. They are selling quality to people on holiday and price is not the main driver.