Cameroon: Are exports the key to industrialization?
UKTP promotes chocolate and penja pepper companies at African trade fair
For the first time, three African companies from the cocoa sector (Soctracao, Chocolateries Nohi and Neo Industry) as well as a group from the Geographical Indication of Penja Pepper, participated at the United Kingdom pavilion as business partners at this year’s Promote 2022 trade fair held in Yaounde, Cameroon from February 17 to 19.
Under the banner of ‘The industrialization of Africa, a key to the emergence of the continent’, the pavilion was an initiative of the UK Government, the funding partner of the International Trade Centre’s UK Trade Partnerships Programme (UKTP) in Cameroon.
By participating in this fair, these small businesses were able to connect with local and international trade partners. More than 300 people visited the four companies at the UK pavilion. Several direct sales and expressions of interest were recorded from buyers in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Held biannually, the Promote trade fair welcomes around 1000 exhibitors from 30 different countries in sectors as diverse as agriculture, health, tourism, banking and communications.
At the geographic and economic confluence of Central and West Africa, the exhibition was an important statement of Cameroon’s industrialization agenda and desire to see economic recovery through promoting and developing sophisticated export industries.
The companies were satisfied with their participation, having met their objectives in terms of developing international recognition, meeting potential partners (including distribution and commercial networking) and optimizing their knowledge in agri-food practices.
Yannick Defosso, a communication officer at Neo Industry, said: “Our participation allowed us to [become] better known and get in contact with many potential customers and partners. In addition, the exchanges with the British High Commissioner in Cameroon were interesting. We are optimistic about diversifying our markets and sales in the UK.”
Les Chocolateries Artisanales Nohi
Les Chocolateries Artisanales Nohi produces quality artisanal chocolate. Buying cocoa beans from local cooperatives, the company also supports farmers to implement good practices in post-harvest processes, ensuring transparency from bean-to-block and compliance with international quality standards.
Neo Industry is a cocoa processer from Cameroon. Experts in the production of cocoa powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass and cocoa cake, Neo Industry has been in business for over 5 years. Neo Industry produces 33,000 tonnes of finished processed cocoa beans per annum, creating up to 500 jobs and providing a sustainable source of income for local farmers and workers in the community.
Société de Commercialisation et Transformation de Cacao (SOCTRACAO)
Soctracao is a cocoa bean processing company from Cameroon. The company sources beans from local cooperatives providing a regular income and supporting livelihoods of small holder farmers and their families.