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Empowering womxn in food with new conference FOOD XX

FOOD XX, a brand-new food conference, brought to you by Studio H will be launching in Cape Town next year. With the objective of supporting womxn in the food, drinks, and hospitality industries the conference promises an impressive lineup of international and local womxn speakers, panel discussions, and the Womxn in Food Awards.
Hannerie Visser - photo by Retha Ferguson
Hannerie Visser - photo by Retha Ferguson
We chat to founder Hannerie Visser to find out more. 

BizcommunityHow did FOOD XX come about?

Consisting of half the world, womxn have the collective power to affect stock markets, policies, corporate and creative industries, their own lives, and the lives of the network of womxn around them. The female empowerment movement is no passing trend the #girlpower hashtag has over 12 million impressions on Instagram.

BizcommunityWhat are the main objectives?

The key focus of FOOD XX is to supply a safe space where womxn can help other womxn to achieve their dreams, provide support, and have much-needed conversations.

Conference info:

The FOOD XX Symposium programme includes local and international womxn speakers and panel discussions; breakfast, lunch, and networking snacks and drinks prepared by local and international conference speakers.

An awards dinner will be hosted celebrating all the womxn in food and honouring the brave, the change-makers, the mentors and the new talent.

Photo by Alix Rose Cowie
Photo by Alix Rose Cowie
Photo by Alix Rose Cowie
Photo by Alix Rose Cowie


  • Giving Back - Individuals who are enriching the community through food and drink. We are looking for large and small scale social enterprise initiatives and individuals as well.
  • Front of House - Sommeliers, managers, waiters, maitre d’s and everything in between.
  • In the Kitchen - Celebrating all women working in kitchens around the country.
  • Bakers - For all real bread bakers and pioneering cake-makers.
  • Alcohol - From innovative cocktail-shakers to DIY spirit-creators.
  • Meat - Charcutiers and butchers, smokers and barbecuers.
  • Vegetable - From vegetarian and vegan fare to jam makers and kimchi producers.
  • Craft -  For everyone that don’t fit into the other categories – from cheese-makers, smoked salmon producers and ice-cream connoisseurs.
  • Fresh Voices in Food - A chance for bloggers, Instagrammers and journalists to get their words heard.
  • Farming - For the agriculture heroes, from food growers to cattle farmers and urban gardeners.

BizcommunityCan you share some speaker announcements with us yet?

We are very excited that Lily Jones, founder of the Lily Vanilli Bakery, will join us. Lily does tremendous work in the British food scene, being the co-founder of Bake for Syria as well as the Young British Food Awards. She is a real change-maker, industry catalyst and innovator.

Follow us on Instagram @fxxd_xx for more speaker announcements – we have some super exciting local and international womxn joining us.

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A platform dedicated to Womxn in Food. #FXXDXX

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BizcommunityWill the conference be an annual event?


BizcommunityHow will the all year round content aspect of FOOD XX play out?

The conference will be available online as well (online tickets will go on sale after the event) and we will feature important industry womxn who inspire us all year round.

Studio H team
Studio H team

BizcommunityWhat needs to change when it comes to supporting South African women in the food industry?

We need to see more womxn in kitchens and more WOC (womxn of colour). We need to see more womxn featured in the media. The only way to change this is to stand together and change it ourselves.

BizcommunityWhat are your best current food trends?

I love that current trends are about the politics of food, we’re also using food to effect change. In another major shift, we will see a whole new category of food and drink entirely designed for womxn. We are not talking about ladies steak cuts on menus, we will see more meals designed specifically to aid womxn’s health, for example, menstruation boosters, fertility superfoods, etc. While the food industry is still a male-dominated arena at large, the foundations are shaking with the rise of female empowerment as seen across industries in 2018.  

BizcommunityWorst trend? 

I ignore annoying trends, they tend to pass quickly.

BizcommunityWhat’s next for Studio H?

Apart from FOOD XX, we have a few big Festive Season projects coming up for clients all over SA and we’ve also been invited to exhibit a project at Dutch Design Week at the end of October.

Nominations for the first-ever Womxn in Food awards are now open. Anyone can nominate someone (you can also nominate yourself) by simply sending an email with the name and a motivation for the nomination to az.oc.h-oiduts@xxdxxf.

FOOD XX will be held at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on the 12 February 2019. Conference tickets cost R1,500 and are available via Quicket. Tickets include breakfast, all-day coffee, tea and drinks, goodbye drinks, and snacks and a tote bag with goodies.

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