City of Roses ‘rose’ to the occasion

Angela Mthethwa and Gaelebale Matsau in the greenhouse at De Plante. PHOTO: Gypseenia Lion

The owner of a rose farm known as De Plante Farm, Mapeo Poonaye, rose to the occasion as she was one of the exhibitioners from Bloemfontein that attended the South African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX) that was held earlier this year.

De Plante farm supplies the local events market with roses and is now entering the retail chain market. Being a smaller business enterprise (SME), SAITEX gave the business an opportunity to expand.

Mapeo Poonaye attended the South African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX). PHOTO: Gypseenia Lion

“We have been to exhibitions before, such as the Bloem Show, but this was the first expo of that magnitude that we have ever attended so it was rather interesting. The marketing manager and I attended and we were exposed to a bigger market. We got to engage with corporate businesses and it helped us grow a bigger market since we are venturing into retail,” says Poonaye.

According to the Free State Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Destea) spokesperson, Khwasa Mothalosa, SAITEX is a multi-sector trade show that allows for local and international importers and exporters to take advantage of trade opportunities with businesses in the African region. Participants are selected through a collaboration between Destea and the Free State Development Corporation (FDC).

PHOTO: Gypseenia Lion

“The task team work and plan the requirements for different platforms and design a call for applications based on the requirement of each platform. Qualifying enterprises are chosen according to the requirements as advertised and their product readiness for local and export markets,” says Mothalosa.

For SMME’s that are interested in attending such trade opportunities, Mothalosa advises continuously visiting Destea’s website and social media platforms for more information, as calls for invitations are advertised on those platforms.

Bonolo Moloi