We facilitate sustainable trade.
The Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) is a well-established mandate of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), with the overall vision of sustainable and inclusive economic growth and integration of SIPPO partner countries into world trade, through its mission of supporting Business Support Organizations (so called BSOs - which includes public or private associations, chambers of commerce, export promotion agencies, among others) to increase their export promotion capacity and service provision to export-ready companies. As of 2017, SIPPO is implemented by Swisscontact, in partnership with BHP Brugger and Partners and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation.
Through SIPPO's network of international and national experts, the programme aims at supporting BSOs to increase their export promotion capacity and service provision to export-ready companies. The programme is a powerful tool in promoting sustainable trade in 11 countries and 6 sectors: Fish & Seafood, Processed Foods, Natural Ingredients, Technical Wood, Value-added Textiles and Sustainable Tourism.
SIPPO supports BSOs through tailor-made capacity building in two areas:
1) Improving BSO Market entry activities
through capacity building in market intelligence, trade fair participation, selling missions, buyer missions and study tours, and
2) Institutional Strengthening of Business Support Organizations (BSOs)
through Strategic planning and positioning, Project Cycle Management and Knowledge sharing and learning.
BSOs are capacitated at their own speed and ownership is placed entirely in the hands of the service provider: BSOs who want to explore and improve access to new markets and opportunities for their export-ready companies to undertake these "last mile services" activities.
SIPPO thereby enhances BSO member companies' performances in export and thus contributes to increased income and more and better jobs.
SIPPO is active in the Processed Foods and Natural Ingredients sectors in South Africa, which are developed export sectors with suppliers who can deliver quality products and meet buyers' requirements. South Africa is an international player in canned fruit and vegetables, fruit juices and concentrates, dried fruit and nuts, as well as essential and vegetable oils/extracts and other natural ingredients.
Business Support Organizations open the doors to world trade through their services to exporters.
We support BSOs to improve their services for exporting companies, and to strengthen their own institutional set-up, as well as connect them to an extensive network.
In our partner countries, we build the capacities of Business Support Organizations (BSOs), such as export promotion boards and sector associations. We will support them so that they can provide high-quality services to their client companies and members in the areas of market intelligence, B2B matchmaking and networking. In this way, we provide assistance to embed export promotion within national structures of our partner countries while supporting reliable sources for your benefit.
SIPPO works with partners that are committed to the sustainable trade of goods and services, i.e. socially responsible and environmentally friendly, in accordance with our Code of Conduct.
SIPPO supports BSOs in numerous areas:
Utilise the wealth of knowledge and years of experience offered by SIPPO and its network.
Contact us to find out how you could benefit from the SIPPO programme. We look forward to assisting you.
South Africa’s agro-processing sector is a key sector for its potential to spur economic growth and create sustainable employment, largely because of its strong backward linkage with the primary agriculture sector. Canned and frozen fruit and vegetables produced in South Africa are well-known internationally and indigenous Rooibos and Honey bush tea, as well as fruit and vegetable juices, are highly sought after in export markets.
SIPPO supports its BSO partners’ export promotion strategies and provides guidance and support for the preparation of their export-ready companies for participation in the right trade promotion activities and markets for their processed food products.
With its rich biodiversity as the third most bio-diverse country in the world, South Africa is a highly viable source for natural ingredients, with unique opportunities and growing demand in international markets.
Natural ingredients are natural remedies and herbs, aromatic plants, essential and vegetable oils and extracts, spices, nuts, honey and other ingredients for the food, cosmetics, health and pharmaceutical industries. With the growing demand for natural ingredients at a global level, this sector has substantial export growth potential. SIPPO supports BSOs in the export promotion of natural ingredients from South Africa to potential international markets.
SIPPO identified strong partner BSOs for collaboration in the relevant export sectors
Through our cooperation with BSOs, we facilitate sophisticated and improved service delivery for the benefit of export-ready companies.
Together with the UN body of the International Trade Center ITC (www.intracen.org), export promotion boards and sector associations were being assessed in 2017 to identify potential areas for improvements.
This involved interviews related to export promotion services, organisational structures, quality management, performance management, as well as export and sector strategies of the BSOs.
In South Africa, SIPPO collaborates with the following BSO partners:
Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) is an Investment Promotion Agency, contributing to economic development by promoting the province of KwaZulu-Natal as the premier investment destination and leader in export trade.
The Cosmetic Export Council of South Africa (CECOSA) is a Section 21, non-profit organisation, and has a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). Its mandate is to grow exports and exporters within the sector.
Wesgro is the official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape and the first point of contact for foreign buyers, local exporters and investors into the region.
TISA, a division of the dtic, aims to increase South Africa’s exporter base and promotes exports of value-added goods and services in alignment with its industrialisation programme, by developing a sustainable, long-term competitive market positioning and international profile.
Given the importance of the European Union (EU) market for exporters of natural ingredients, five partner BSOs collaborated to offer this webinar, which was held on 30 September 2021.
This e-learning platform developed for BSOs by top experts in the field of trade promotion, currently comprises 5 modules on core export promotion topics, as well as a Forum, offered by SIPPO in partnership with the ITC.
SIPPO SA partnered with the UNIDO implemented GQSP-SA project to facilitate virtual workshop sessions on 18 & 20 August 2020, for BSO partners, on the potential of the Natural Ingredients sector in South Africa for supplying the lucrative and growing European market.
As part of Women’s Month in South Africa, SIPPO SA, participated in a women-to-women webinar on 11 August 2020 hosted by the BSO, SAEOPA, to celebrate the role of women in the natural products industry.
SIPPO SA in collaboration with SIPPO Colombia, facilitated a virtual networking session between South African BSOs and ProColombia, to share best practices and learn from each other during the Covid-19 pandemic.
SIPPO SA facilitated a virtual roundtable meeting on 30 June 2020 for its BSO partners on the effects of the Covid-19 crisis, on the processed foods and organic sectors in Europe.
The SIPPO BSO partner, TIKZN, facilitated an informal Zoom meeting with participating companies on their export marketing plans, as part of the training programme on 10 June 2020.
SIPPO virtual capacity building session with partner BSOs on BIOFACH 2020, post trade fair evaluation and follow-up.
SIPPO supports its partner BSO, TIKZN, with the implementation of its new programme for potential exporters in the Processed Foods and Natural Ingredients sectors
The importance of having well developed CRM systems and practices in BSOs
Biofach 2020: First official South African participation at the world’s largest organic food trade fair in Nuremberg, Germany
Successful pre-fair Workshops organised by the dti and Wesgro for their co-exhibitors in preparation of Biofach trade fair supported by SIPPO South Africa
A buyer mission to the Western Cape Region was organized and hosted by the BSO, Wesgro with support from SIPPO.
Anuga 2019: intense experience, brimming with business opportunities and new ideas
Facilitation of strategic collaboration among BSOs in South Africa
SIPPO South Africa supported its BSO partners, the dti, TIKZN and Wesgro in preparation of Anuga 2019 trade fair.
South African BSOs agree on best practices and synergies for trade promotion.
SIPPO prepared Business Support Organisations (BSOs) from South Africa and Albania - together with their companies - for a successful product promotion and trade fair participation at Biofach – the world’s leading trade fair for organic food.
Selling Mission to Sweden from 12 – 16 November 2018 meets expections of BSOs and their participating firms
The Salon International de l’Alimentation (SIAL) food fair, which took place from 21 - 25 October 2018 at Paris Nord Villepinte, delivered on being the food event of the year and meeting place for the entire industry with more than 7200 exhibitors from 119 countries and 300 000 stakeholders to the fair.
Study Tour with Matchmaking Opportunities to Biofach Trade Fair 2018 supported by SIPPO
As of April 2017, the Swisscontact foundation assumes implementation of the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO).
In collaboration with its partners, SIPPO identifies and participates in targeted international trade promotion events and activities.
With the aim of promoting and increasing the export of Processed Food and Natural Ingredients from South Africa, all activities with partner BSOs will have a strong focus on bringing companies to selling platforms and connecting exporters and importers.
Visit this section regularly for information on upcoming events such as international trade fairs; study tours and on-site visits, matchmaking and networking activities buyer-seller meetings, training for trade fair participation, workshops, conferences and more.