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Jane Strijdom – International Fresh Produce Association

IFPA Southern Africa Conference takes the measure of fresh produce in post-election South Africa

The big event in the fresh producer annual calendar is fast approaching: the annual Southern Africa Conference organized by the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) where everyone up and down the fresh produce value chain meets up.

Apart from networking with peers and potential collaborators, the conference on 6 August 2024 in Cape Town also gives attendees direct access to industry leaders and analysts.

Transnet's CEO, Advocate Michelle Phillips, will be there in person to discuss the sea-change in the state-run port authority's position on privatization: previously an anathema to government, the managing of Durban Pier 2 was privatized and the fresh produce industry is keen to hear when management of Cape Town's port terminals will be similarly outsourced.

"She is very amenable to talk to our audience, and because she's at the coalface, we look forward to hearing first-hand from her," says Jane Strijdom, IFPA Southern Africa's country manager (right). "People are speaking highly of what Advocate Phillips has managed to achieve since being appointed as CEO, so this will be a highlight on our programme."

"Everyone should learn something at the IFPA Southern Africa Conference"
Another highlight will be the exploration of South Africa's post-election geopolitical terrain, led by political analyst Dr Frans Cronjé. "We've never had a government of national unity before," Strijdom remarks, "and Dr Cronjé will talk to us about the challenges and opportunities ahead. He seems to have been pretty spot-on with his predictions in the run-up to the election, so it will be interesting to hear his insights."

A fireside chat will follow his presentation, during which delegates can share their thoughts and together with him further unpack recent shifts to the political landscape undergirding agriculture, the economy and therefore the fresh produce trade.

An unparallelled chance to meet anyone in the fresh produce value chain presents itself at the annual IFPA Southern Africa Conference

"That's what IFPA is about: we offer our members networking and education opportunities. Our members come from a broad range, right across the supply chain, and with our annual conference programme, we aim to address subjects that will be meaningful and valuable to them all. Everyone should learn something when they attend the IFPA conference," she says.

In a streamlined format, the conference opens the night before with a welcome reception on the trade floor from 5pm to 7pm, open to members and non-members alike.

Women's Fresh Perspectives Breakfast included in basic registration
Wednesday morning starts with the Women's Fresh Perspectives Breakfast with a career strategist, Licia Dewing. Previously at an additional cost, the Women's Fresh Perspectives Breakfast is this year included in the basic registration cost.

Another change is not so new: as in 2022, exhibitors will be arrayed throughout the open reception area of the Century City Conference Centre to increase their contact with participants and max out the networking potential for which the conference is known.

For more information:
Jennifer Booth
International Fresh Produce Association
Email: [email protected]