Our recent accomplishments at the Fruit Attraction Trade Show in Madrid stand as a massive success in our three-year collaboration with the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from the Netherlands (CBI). This program is designed to support Lebanon’s fruit and vegetable producers and facilitate their connections with international buyers, with a keen focus on products such as avocados, cherries, citrus, peaches, potatoes, and table grapes.
A two-pronged strategy
The program functions on a dual strategy. Firstly, it offers essential technical support and guidance for Lebanese fruit and vegetable producers, ensuring they gain market access. Secondly, it extends assistance to organisations like Chambers of Commerce Industry & Agriculture and other governmental bodies, helping them enhance their services to these producers, ultimately strengthening the sector. Managing partner, Alfons Van Duijvenbode has been a crucial figure in this effort.
Connecting producers with buyers and cultivating lasting relationships
The foremost objective of the participation in the Fruit Attraction tradeshow was to facilitate nine Lebanese producers in establishing connections with international buyers, spanning across Europe and other regions. Alfons played a pivotal role in coaching the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Economy and Trade, streamlining their support for Lebanese producers at the trade show and enhancing the impact of the show in terms of buyers’ awareness of the Lebanese offer.
The genesis of “LebFresh Branding”
Over the past two years, Globally Cool has been working on the creation of the “LebFresh” branding concept. This undertaking involved extensive dialogue and strategic sessions with multiple stakeholders in the enabling environment including Chambers of Commerce, the Ministry of Economy and Trade, and representatives from the private sector. They distilled the essence of the Lebanese fruit and vegetable sector and the proposition vis-à-vis other supplying countries to shape this impactful branding concept. As a result, a branding and promotion strategy was launched including a dedicated promotion website lebfresh.org, making it easier for international buyers to connect showcasing supplier profiles, and a wide range of products, including avocados, cherries, citrus, peaches, potatoes, and table grapes.
The Lebanon pavilion: “Taste Our Land, Taste Our Heritage”
At the trade show, nine Lebanese companies joined forces under the “Lebanon Pavilion.” Their motto, “Taste Our Land, Taste Our Heritage,” elegantly encapsulates the essence of their produce with the rich Lebanese history and exceptional flavours of the fresh produce. A particular standout feature is the environmental benefit that comes with sourcing products from Lebanon. Due to the proximity to the European and Gulf markets, the environmental footprint is considerably lower compared to sourcing from other countries from Latin America or South Africa.
Raising awareness through social media and outreach
The coaching of Globally Cool also led to an effective social media campaign to increase awareness about Lebanese participation in the trade show, especially through LinkedIn and the supplier stories on YouTube. Moreover, the coaching also focused on the development of an international buyer database and an email campaign to reach out to over 1,000 international buyers to emphasise the Lebanese presence. Additionally, the team of the Chambers of Commerce was coached to manage the information desk at the pavilion, providing visitors with comprehensive insights into Lebanon’s rich variety of produce and comparative advantages.
Impressive outcomes at the trade show
The trade show yielded astonishing results! Over the span of three days, the nine Lebanese producers established over 350 qualified business contacts, surpassing all expectations. A big interest was noticed in avocados, potatoes, table grapes, tomatoes and cherimoya. For all stakeholders involved, including the exhibitors and the representatives of the Chambers and the Ministry of Economy and Trade, this marked a resounding success.
A reason to be proud
Through the CBI program, Globally Cool has played a paramount role in promoting the Lebanese fruit and vegetable sector over the past two years. Through the development of consistent branding, a strong online presence, and engaging storytelling, the sector has gained international recognition. Furthermore, Globally Cool has provided training, enabling Lebanese staff to take the reins of branding and promotion. The journey continues, and the future holds the promise of even greater success for Lebanese produce on the global stage, with lebfresh.org serving as a central hub for connection and engagement, showcasing a diverse array of products.
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