Excitement is mounting as the inaugural international expo, the Organic & Natural Products Expo Africa 2022 gears up to open its doors to the public from 21 to 23 October at The Deck, Wanderers Stadium, in Johannesburg. 

This first-of-its-kind expo on the Continent is set to showcase a variety of natural and organic products and services from local and overseas manufacturers, suppliers, importers and exporters. Visitors can expect to see offerings from Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania and West Africa. 

According to event organiser John Thomson, Managing Director of SA Trade Promotions (SATP), it has been a long-time coming and momentum is growing as the Expo draws closer, a day after World Food Day. “We are very excited about the Expo, as this is the first platform where trade and consumers can see and experience the latest trends in organic and natural products. We have engaged far and wide with industry to deliver an event that is accessible to as many companies as possible, both big and small,” he said. 

With more than 100 exhibitors expected, the Expo is set to attract thousands of visitors looking for products that are healthy and sustainable. “Consumers are increasingly using their purchasing power to prioritise health, wellness, and the environment –  making the timing of this Expo opportune, as it showcases what is available to South Africans under one roof,” said Thomson. 

Growth in organics 

The Expo comes at a time when there is renewed interest from consumers for organic and natural products. The Covid-19 pandemic not only highlighted the weaknesses in global food supply chains, but also raised awareness about the health and environmental impacts of food.

Studies show that organic and natural products are set to become even more popular. It is reported that at least 70% of consumers globally are more likely to make purchases based on whether there would be a reduced impact on the environment, and 41% are willing to pay more to do so by buying all-natural and organic goods. 

Interactive event

According to Thomson, there will be a variety of entertainment for visitors. Demonstrations, workshops and a presentation theatre are all part of the event. “Our presentation theatre will run throughout the show, demonstrating best practices and new developments,” he says. “We have engaged with industry to bring not only their products, but their expertise and knowledge, to share.”

Look out for the worms

Perpetual Kindness are hosting an interactive workshop at their stand, teaching young and old all about worm farming. Managing Partner Cherese Nel says there will be demonstrations on how to start a farm, generating vermicompost and growing organic fruits and vegetables. Taking place every day at 9am, 11.30 and 2pm, these interactive workshops help to explain the production of food, and how some farming methods are better for protecting the environment than others.

 To cook or not to cook

The HTA School of Culinary Art, an internationally accredited chef school, will host daily culinary demonstrations using organic and natural products. Natural and organic does not have to be overwhelming or difficult. Be inspired by the school’s creation of delicious dishes and meet some celebrity chefs such as funny man Chris Forrest and Carien van Tonder from the school. Watch them whip up tasty dishes that are organically sourced and cooked with a zero-waste end result.

Tickets for the Expo are available online or can be purchased on arrival using Snapscan, Zapper or credit card only. Bone fide trade visitors are invited to apply for complimentary trade tickets online. For more details on the event visithttps://www.organicandnaturalportal.com/expo/

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