The commercial content is obviously very focussed on the American market but there is technical information that is interesting and one should anyway know what is going on around the world to be able to succeed in the food market.
The format makes it necessary to read the journal using an animated online reader – fancy but maybe not most appropriate for Africa.
Every small food business workshop surely lists export as an opportunity in their SWOT analysis. What the vast majority are unable to do is to understand the implication of a strategy that focuses on export. Therefore it gets written up and maybe posted on the webpage more in excitement and optimism that in expectation.
This manual should be prescribed reading for the facilitator of such workshops, but more importantly seems to be a realistic HOW TO manual for a business wishing to consider the potential of entering and export market and also its checklist and directory as an exporter.
The manual appears to be pretty comprehensive, but if anyone who has practical experience could offer feedback I would be happy to publish that here.
The Table of Contents is copied below:
Why this export guide?
1. Success in exporting specialty foods
1.1. Why should your business export?
1.2. How does international trade differ from domestic trade?
1.3. In-house management issues involved in the decision to export
1.4. Importance of an export marketing strategy Continue reading →
A recent article in the world street journal showed the picture below which represents the change in expenditure in the US in the third quarter of 2008.
I post this because although a food processing business might not be supplying this market directly, these changes must surely have some relevance even if only as a confirmation of an amazing economic downturn.
What this shows that compared to the previous quarter, the expenditure on alcoholic beverages dropped 10.9% or the equivalent of almost 44% over a year – given that the 4th Quarter includes the festive season and Christmas it is unlikely that season variations would make the annual figure smaller.
However the U.S. Department of Commerce’s inflation and seasonality corrected data shows a 13.8% per year decrease for the 4th quarter of 2008.
What is also interesting is the trends the data shows. When people are short of money they spend less on non necessities such as chocolate, pet food and alcohol as well as expensive foods such as beef. The reduction in cereals probably reflects breakfast cereals rather than wheat, maize etc.
The manual starts off with a discussion of how to identify a market, test its feasibility, serve it and maintain customers and where and how to set up the milk processing plant. Only then are processes and technologies discussed. The manual ends with sections on quality assurance & legislation and planning and managing production and finances.
All the sections of the manual contain practical calculations, tips for success, case studies, chapter summaries and checklists, which help to make the material real and reinforce the learning process.
Valuable practical information including a bibliography, a list of Institutions offering support to small-scale processors, a glossary and a list of acronyms can be found in the appendix.