Themed “Accelerating ASEAN’s Food Security and Sustainability”, the
22nd Malaysian International Food and Beverage Trade Fair 2023 (MIFB
2023) kicked off at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) this week with
over 400 exhibitors from 60 countries and 20,000 trade attendees.
The three-day show, organised by Constellar, aimed to empower F&B
enterprises with solutions to grow in challenging economic climates,
especially with rising operational costs which affect the industry.
The 20th China-ASEAN Expo 2023 Roadshow (Malaysia) & Guangxi
Export Fair were co-located with MIFB 2023, bringing together key
players from ASEAN and China onto one platform. This partnership
strengthens trade and economic ties between the two regions and serves
as a catalyst to help with business growth and knowledge exchange.
Speaking at the keynote address, Tuan Chan Foong Hin, deputy minister
of Agriculture and Food Security, said: “MIFB serves as a platform for
showcasing the best of what Malaysia has to offer, as well as for
discovering the latest trends and innovations in the international food
and beverage industry. Together, we can drive growth, enhance
competitiveness, and ensure food security for our nations and beyond.”
In 2022, Malaysia’s agrifood activities earned RM173.9 billion
(US$37.4 billion) to the economy or 11.5% of the country’s total GDP.
Hence, trade events such as MIFB serve as a vital opportunity to boost
market access and help cross-border networking that will benefit local
Tackling food waste at exhibitions
The new Knowledge Programmes at MIFB featured renowned industry
leaders and experts, discussing critical industry issues such as food
security, zero-waste initiatives and innovations in the food sector.
Show organiser Constellar partnered with KLCC to collect and identify
every piece of food waste generated from the event identified using AI
technology. The waste will be composted and transformed into
high-quality crop fertiliser, which will be donated to the Orang Asli
communities to support agriculture activities.
Besides reduced carpeting and an increasing number of labelled
recycle bins in the halls, organisers used tech to introduce digitalised
badges, show directories and exhibitor materials that were accessible
through the MIFB mobile app. The app offered real-time digital
engagements that complemented the in-person experience at the event, and
created more ways for networking through smart AI-recommended business
Hellen Woon, event director of MIFB, is hopeful that food waste
management strategies and mindset change can be put in place in Malaysia
to address this issue.
“There seems to be a gap in prioritising food waste management at
events by many exhibition and conference organisers. For example, there
is a lack of measuring wasted food, which makes it difficult to manage
the problem without knowing how much food is being wasted. The "fear of
running out" of food is another issue, leading to over-ordering and
buffet lines instead of more appropriate light refreshments.”
To address this, MIFB 2023 is collecting plastic waste, unconsumed
food, food sampling, and demo leftovers from the show floor, and turning
them into compost for crop plantations.
“These efforts demonstrate our commitment to reducing food waste at
our event and set an example for others in the industry,” said Woon.
With additional reporting from Anis Ramli