The USAID Hub supported nine firms from Ethiopia and Madagascar at the International Food Technologists (IFT) Expo in Chicago, IL, U.S.A., on July 16-18. The expo included food ingredient, equipment, processing, technology and packaging suppliers, bringing together approximately 1,200 exhibitors and 23,000 attendees interested in the science of food. The expo provided an opportunity for buyers to learn about – and taste – the East African firms’ products, which focused on a variety of spices and Moringa powder.
The Hub supports East African companies to connect with U.S. buyers as part of its mandate to facilitate a 40 percent increase in exports from the East African region to the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Hub assisted the firms with event logistics and prepared them for buyer interactions, helping them to maximize their attendance and explore export opportunities. These interactions are invaluable for participating East African firms. By speaking to buyers and observing other participants, the firms gain a better understanding of current market trends and what their competition has to offer. Expo participation can also foster business connections and generate deals. By the end of the expo, the Hub-supported firms made a total of 61 business linkages with a potential value of $545,330.