Snow Bliss CEO Karin Opperman puts final touches on her company’s stand in Moscow, Russia. PHOTO: Department of Trade and Industry (dti)

JOHANNESBURG – A South African business delegation is in Russia to take part in the World Food Moscow fair and will seek export opportunities in that country's agro-processing market, the department of trade and industry said on Monday.

South Africa's foreign economic representative in Russia Moloko Leshaba said it was a key market for the country's fresh fruits exports, with growth seen in several products including rooibos, honeybush tea and spices.

"South Africa has continued to see positive growth in exports to Russia in a number of products. Bottled wines have been growing at more than 10 percent in the last four years, increasing the number of South African wine brands in the country," Leshaba said.

"Russia is actively looking for alternative suppliers of food and beverages to mitigate the effects of sanctions. South African companies have the opportunity to expand into a receptive market in Russia."

Russia has in the last two years invested significantly in the food production industry as part of its import substitution initiative, Leshaba added.

Cocktail manufacturing company Snow Bliss is hoping to find importers and distributors for its cocktails, spices, wine and jello shots for the Russian market, CEO Karin Opperman said.

"We have discovered that Russia is a very attractive and good market for alcohol beverages. Since we have established our brand with different distributors and hotels back in South Africa and other African countries, we are now ready to establish a base here in Russia,” said Opperman.

The company, which is based in Boksburg in Gauteng province, currently employs 22 permanent staff and also exports beverages to China, Hong Kong, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

- African News Agency (ANA)