Mar 22, 2022
Agri-Food Innovation Days 2022, the most anticipated agri-food event in Lebanon
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Under the patronage of the President of Council of Ministers H.E. Mr. Najib Mikati, Berytech organized the Agri-Food Innovation Days (AFID) 2022 in partnership with QOOT Cluster, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon, with the support of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and ENI CBC MED and co-hosted with HORECA Connects.

The 3-day event that took place on March 22, 23, and 24 at the Seaside Pavilion in Beirut gathered agri-food leaders, corporates, entrepreneurs, startups, investors, researchers, and visionaries under one roof to promote Lebanese agri-food innovations in the sector, expose local and regional challenges, increase ecosystem and industry partnerships, and initiate potential innovations.

Local and International Partners

“What Berytech has done with AFID this year is unprecedented in terms of congregating national and international bodies and organizations who are actively working in sustaining, strengthening, and advancing the agri-food sector in Lebanon,” announces Ramy Boujawdeh, Berytech’s COO. “Visitors to this year’s event will be able to discover more than 12 programs supporting startups and SMEs in the agri-food sector and understand how each program can help their business. They will also meet startups that have been part of these programs and get to witness first-hand the impact of receiving support to start, grow and scale.”

“Lebanon remains the gateway to the Levant, with much untapped potential. Today’s event is an illustration of Lebanon’s talent in the agri-food sector. The Netherlands is the home of Food-Valley, the nexus of top-tier innovation in the agri-food sector with top universities like Wageningen University. The partnership with Berytech allows us to link that knowledge and to stimulate Agri-Food development in Lebanon. The Netherlands sees agri-food development as an important pillar in rebuilding the productive sector in Lebanon. I am therefore proud that the Netherlands supports the Agri-Food Innovation Days 2022,” says Hans Peter van der Woude, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Lebanon.

Claudio Pasqualucci, Trade Commissioner at the Italian Embassy in Lebanon confirmed that “the Italian Trade Agency is pleased to participate in the 2022 edition of Agri-Food Innovation Days in Beirut showcasing Italian technologies in the agro-industrial sector. The Italian official participation in such an event is part of an ongoing process of cooperation between Italian companies and Lebanese companies with the solid synergy in which Berytech is playing an important role in this important transitional economic phase for Lebanon. Italy and Italian companies are here to develop cooperation projects and are eager to meet Lebanese counterparts.”

80+ Speakers & 25+ Activities

In addition to the exhibition space hosting more than 12 programs and more than 20 agri-food startups, guests are invited to join the conversation on the sector’s most urgent topics on the evolution, strengths, and export potential of the Lebanese agri-food sector with more than 25 panels, keynote speakers, workshops, talks, round tables and exclusive announcements scheduled around the hour daily from 11: 30 am to 6:30 pm throughout the 3 days.

With trade delegations and businesses attending from across the Euro-Med, guests will also be able to connect and discover their success stories, innovations, and solutions. In parallel, Demo Sessions will feature a roaster of startups pitching live for the very first time to the public and researchers showcasing also for the very first time their findings in the sector.

Networking & Trade Mission

While Berytech will be organizing closed matchmaking and brokerage activities for selected startups and businesses participating in the event, the entire #AFID2022 event is designed to facilitate networking for visitors. Berytech has allocated areas where entrepreneurs and businesses can meet and build linkages, establish partnerships and initiate collaborations with different stakeholders.

To multiply AFID's networking impact on participating companies, Berytech is organizing a trade mission to Lebanon including more than 20 international buyers and distributor from 5 different countries mainly USA, Brussels, Gulf, France and the Ivory Coast, led by Lebanon's economic attachés, Chadi Boudaher, Abdallah Nasseredine, Rachelle Alamedine, Saadallah Zaaiter and Rana Rizk. Business meetings will be held with 100 Lebanese companies on the 2nd and 3rd day of AFID followed by site visits to the companies these buyers wish to visit.

HORECA Connects

AFID 2022 is happening in parallel with HORECA CONNECTS, the strategic meeting point for hospitality and foodservice professionals from across the region. Joumana Dammous-Salamé, managing director of Hospitality Services, HORECA Lebanon organizer, said: “Networking and synergizing are vital, and our aim is to work around these unusual circumstances to curate an event that fulfills our mission of bringing people together to share knowledge, learn and do business.”

About Berytech

Berytech is a leading organization in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Lebanon and the MENA region, providing an enabling environment for the creation and development of startups and small and medium-sized enterprises, promoting innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Lebanon.
Founded in 2002 by Saint-Joseph University Berytech has hosted more than 350 startups, helped more than 4,300 entrepreneurs, and created more than 3,500 jobs in Lebanon. Berytech currently runs more than 30 local and regional programs for various sectors targeting startups and small and medium-sized enterprises, providing a complete ecosystem for innovative entrepreneurs to create and develop their companies and projects.
Berytech is accredited by international organizations, and has international memberships that offer entrepreneurs and SMEs in the Lebanese community access to global funding and support networks.
A member of the European Business Network, Berytech was the first in the region to obtain EU accreditation as a hub for business innovation.