As an adaptation to the new conditions due to the Covid crisis, the SIPPO programme continues to support its partners in Tunisia to open up new markets with new opportunities such as virtual B2B matchmaking activities and the promotion of emerging sectors. With its partner CEPEX, SIPPO therefore organised the first sales mission in a 100% digital format between Tunisian exporters of date derivatives and European buyers during the months of November and December 2020.
As part of the annual programme between CEPEX and SIPPO, a date derivatives sales mission that was planned as a face-to-face event before the 2020 health crisis was transformed into a digital event. The objective remained the same, namely, to make interested buyers aware of the new product range and to generate sales, but also to better understand the needs of customers and the potential of the date derivatives range in the European market.
Adaptation of CEPEX’s services offered to companies.
As a result of global travel and meeting restrictions, CEPEX is adapting and developing its international promotion services with the support of the SIPPO programme. This activity introduced exporters to new techniques of exchange with remote buyers through the tools of digitalisation. To this end, CEPEX and SIPPO organised the entire process for the sales mission online: Preparing companies for meetings, searching for buyers, following up on B2B meetings and monitoring the activity.
Tunisian exporters were able to meet buyers from various European countries at B2B meetings with companies from Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy. This has allowed our partner CEPEX to expand its international network and to have a better view of the potential of the date derivatives sector in these importing countries.
Capitalization on lessons learned.
Following on from this activity, SIPPO organised a workshop with CEPEX and the PAMPAT project to capitalise on the lessons learned during this mission. Through the virtual meetings, exporters gained a lot of information about the dynamics of the European date derivatives market, such as the competitiveness of the product range in some European countries, and the awareness that some products are more interesting than others.
This also included a great learning about the adaptations to the digital format, especially regarding the ability and willingness of companies to approach buyers virtually and the responsiveness in dealing with potential contacts at a distance.
The PAMPAT project which is partner of SIPPO was also part of the activity process. It followed the exchanges between the experts and the companies and used the information shared to better inform their staff in the context of these activities how to develop the value chain in the data derivatives sector.