Facilitating the entry of Lebanese agriculture exporters into new markets

This CBI-supported project facilitated the entry of Lebanese agriculture exporters into new markets. Grounded in a comprehensive market study identifying viable Lebanese produce for the European market, our primary objective was to enhance the export-enabling environment. Key challenges addressed included the limited connection between the private sector and academia, inadequate export services, and the overall image of the country and sector.

Through strategic interventions, the project sought to facilitate export growth and contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive economic environment. At its core, the initiative aspired to reshape the global narrative of Lebanese agriculture, fostering resilience, collaboration, and innovation for the benefit of all stakeholders involved.

Products

Avocado, Table grapes, Cherries, Peaches, Citrus, Potatoes

Year

2019 – 2024

Country

EU (general), GCC, Lebanon

Type of activity

  • Branding and Promotion
  • Business Matching
  • Capacity Building
  • Coaching
  • Connecting
  • Digital Marketing
  • Market Intelligence
  • Media
  • Strategy Development
  • Trade Fairs and Missions
  • Trade Intelligence Portals

Year

2019 – 2024

Country

EU (general), GCC, Lebanon

Type of activity

  • Branding and Promotion
  • Business Matching
  • Capacity Building
  • Coaching
  • Connecting
  • Digital Marketing
  • Market Intelligence
  • Media
  • Strategy Development
  • Trade Fairs and Missions
  • Trade Intelligence Portals

The project implementation involved collaboration with two pivotal groups. The first? A task force comprising several regional Chambers of Commerce, the Ministry of Economy and Trade as well as Berytech. It was strategically formed to bridge the gap between the public and private sectors. Their primary objective was to formulate a sector export marketing plan aimed at leveraging opportunities in the EU and GCC markets. Additionally, the task force undertook the critical mission of enhancing the country and sector image through the development of robust national branding initiatives.

The second group comprised the producers. Collaborating closely with them, our focus was on executing the promotion strategy devised in conjunction with the task force. This involved practical steps to boost visibility and market presence. Furthermore, we engaged with producers to share valuable insights on sector innovation and trends within the Lebanese business community. Through this multifaceted approach, the project aimed to not only enhance the connection between the public and private sectors but also empower producers with the knowledge and tools essential for effective market engagement.

Activities

  • Sector Export Marketing Plan: Development and implementation of a comprehensive marketing plan to guide Lebanese agriculture exporters in capitalizing on opportunities in the EU and GCC markets.
  • Lebfresh platform: Successful creation and launch of the Lebfresh platform as part of the national branding initiative, serving as a centralized hub to promote trade fair participation and showcase diverse Lebanese produce.
  • National pavilion at International Trade Fairs: Facilitation of a national pavilion at two major international trade fairs in 2023—FruitLogistica in Berlin and Fruit Attraction in Madrid—with plans for continued participation, including FruitLogistica 2024.
  • Enhanced country and sector image: Implementation of initiatives aimed at improving the overall image of the country and sector, including the development of strong national branding through activities such as the Lebfresh platform.
  • Training of Trainers: Conduct a specialized training session during the Fruit Logistica trade fair in 2022. This session focused on trade fair participation and digital marketing, equipping participants with essential skills to enhance their presence and effectiveness in international trade fairs.
  • Capacity building for Lebfresh management team: Implementation of a capacity-building program for the management team of Lebfresh. This initiative aimed to strengthen the team's skills and capabilities, ensuring effective operation and management of the platform as a key component of the national branding initiative.

Results

Significant milestones have been achieved in the project implementation, laying a robust foundation for future endeavours in the remaining six months. One of the key accomplishments has been the formulation of a comprehensive sector export marketing plan. This plan serves as a strategic roadmap, guiding Lebanese agriculture exporters on leveraging opportunities in the EU and GCC markets.

As part of the national branding initiative, the Lebtrade trade intelligence portal has been successfully developed in partnership with the Rene Moawad Foundation (RMF). This platform plays a pivotal role in supporting Lebanese exports with MI reports, export readiness assessment and "find your buyers" data. Furthermore, the Lebfresh website emerged as a key tool in enhancing the visibility and market presence of Lebanese agriculture on an international scale. In addition, the national branding of the fresh fruit and vegetable sector in Lebanon was developed in partnership with Fair Trade Lebanon (FTL) under the BIEEL - MEPI initiative and adopted by the Ministry of Economy and Trade to be the national branding.

A pivotal outcome of our efforts has been the facilitation of a national pavilion at two major international trade fairs in 2023—FruitLogistica in Berlin and Fruit Attraction in Madrid. This initiative aimed to provide a collective platform for Lebanese exporters, fostering collaboration and amplifying their presence in global markets. Looking ahead, plans are underway for continued participation, with FruitLogistica 2024 on the horizon.

These achievements mark significant strides toward the project's overarching goals of strengthening the export-enabling environment, enhancing the country and sector image, and contributing to sustainable and inclusive export growth. With the momentum gained in the initial phase, the coming months hold promise for further impactful outcomes and lasting positive change within the Lebanese agriculture export landscape.