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The two most important international trade fairs for the beverage and liquid food industry will join forces to strengthen their positions in the world market. drinktec from Munich (GER), the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry, and Nuremberg’s (GER) BrauBeviale, the leading capital goods trade fair for the beverage industry in Europe, have joined forces to form the joint venture “YONTEX” as of 1 July 2023. The company is based in Nuremberg and CEO will be Rolf M. Keller, previously divisional director at NürnbergMesse. Both trade fairs will continue to operate as independent brands, retain their names, and keep their events at the respective locations in Munich and Nuremberg, but under the shared umbrella of YONTEX.

The merger of drinktec and BrauBeviale into one company is the largest merger of two trade fair flagships in Germany to date. Both trade fairs will be able to continue their individual growth unimpeded, widen their national and international reach in terms of customer contacts, and bundle their resources to the benefit of their exhibitors and visitors.

The new company YONTEX will present itself for the first time with the BrauBeviale to be held in Nuremberg from November 28 to 30, 2023. Both events will be held as before at their accustomed venues, both will retain their prestigious brand names and their well-known contact persons. Moreover, they will be held in the same cycles as before: drinktec will be held at the Munich Exhibition Centre every four years, the next event being in 2025, and BrauBeviale will still be held annually at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre, as before, except for the “drinktec years”. In addition to Munich, drinktec is also held at two additional venues: an annual event in India (drink technology India) and a biennial event in China (CHINA BREW CHINA BEVERAGE).

A 19-person team of experienced trade fair professionals from drinktec and BrauBeviale, as well as some new trade fair professionals, will be the foundation of YONTEX in the future. This new team includes CEO Rolf M. Keller and Executive Vice President Petra Westphal, who had previously been a project manager for drinktec and its international exhibitions, Executive Director BrauBeviale Andrea Kalrait, Executive Director drinktec Cluster Markus Kosak and Executive Director Operations Moritz Müller.

Koa receives recognition for its socially responsible business just five years after the establishment of its innovative cocoa fruit venture. The Swiss-Ghanaian start-up is excited to announce the success- ful B Corp Certification with a score of 95.7 points. As Koa is scaling its operations, the team pushes even further in improving and leading with positive change.

Koa has officially become a B Corp, short for Certified B Corporation, using the power of business to address some of society’s greatest challenges. “Nowadays, measuring the success of a company needs to go beyond pure financial performance. Since our inception, we measure our success on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. Being B Corp certified, we join a community of businesses around the world leading the transformation of the global economic system and we hope that many of our peers will follow our example,” Benjamin Kuschnik, Co-Founder and Group Finance Director of the Swiss-Ghanaian start-up, highlights.

A rigorous review of Koa’s impact

By certifying their businesses, recognised B Corps step into a framework for continuous improve- ment. A company must achieve a minimum score of 80 points on the B Impact Assessment to be certified and repeat the verification process every three years. The extensive assessment measures Koa’s ongoing impact on its workers, community and suppliers, customers, governance and the environment to make sure that the company is meeting high international standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

As a B Corp, the start-up joins the growing movement of around 6,000 Certified B Corporations from 158 industries across 86 countries, including companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Innocent Drinks and Valrhona. The B Corp Certification is administered by B Lab. Lucy Muigai, CEO of the African B Lab certifying Koa says: “This is not only a win for Koa but a win for the B Corp movement. The recognition marks Koa’s continued investment in tackling poverty in the cocoa supply chain and strengthening rural communities through job creation. Koa joining the B Corp community signals a shift towards greater accountability and transparency in the cocoa sector.”

Founded in 2017, Koa is disrupting the cocoa industry through its innovative upcycling of the cocoa fruit. Koa is the first company in West Africa to have unlocked a new value chain around the so far discarded cocoa pulp and worldwide the first cocoa fruit brand to become a B Corp. Working closely with cocoa smallholders, Koa reduces on-farm food waste around the cocoa fruit, generates additional farmer income and creates new jobs in rural communities. At the same time, Koa brings unique new ingredients to the food and beverage industry for applications ranging from chocolate and confectionery to ice cream or drinks.

Addressing opportunities for improvement

“We are proud to receive this certification, especially since we’re the third B Corp which has its major operations in Ghana, and we’ve been only five years in business,” says Francis Appiagyei-Poku, Finance and Administration Director at Koa in Ghana. “While we have proven to meet B Lab’s high standards, it’s still important to us that we strive for continuous improvement.”

As a water-intensive sector, agriculture poses risks such as water stress or depletion of local water sources if water use is not appropriately managed. Koa’s production process in the factory requires substantial amounts of water and energy for logistics, cooling and cleaning. Koa is therefore constantly improving the infrastructure to reduce resource usage such as investing in a rainwater harvesting system.

Besides environmental improvements, Koa is actively training its workforce for an international environment. Koa is committed to having more women and minorities in leadership positions since diversity is at the core of its business and the team aims to set an example beyond the sector it works in.