South West food and drink firms hungry to export head to cologne

Export | South West

Five food and drink businesses from across the South West sought out new export customers this week at the Anuga food and drink fair in Cologne, Germany.

The trade show, which marks its 100th anniversary this year, hosts more than 7,400 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, and welcomes 165,000 trade visitors from around the world.

The businesses have so far been supported on their exporting journey by the Food is Great campaign – a cross-departmental initiative between the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) – to showcase UK food and drink overseas and help more businesses export.

The region’s producers, including Bath’s The Fine Cheese Company and Wiltshire’s The Tracklement Co, exhibited at the show alongside more than 100 UK businesses in a dedicated UK pavilion with support from DIT’s International Trade Advisers (ITAs).

Another local business that attended the event was Somerdale International. Based in Wellington, Somerset, Somerdale exports high quality, great tasting British cheese to over 50 countries across the globe. Today, it is a leading exporter of British cheese to the US and is also making strong progress in establishing a presence in new emerging markets such as China. Attending this year’s Anuga event enabled Somerdale to meet new potential customers and distributors via one-to-one meetings organised by DIT’s ITAs.

Alan Jenkins, Director of Somerdale International, said: “Somerdale International exports cheese and dairy products across the globe, and going forward we see strong growth potential.  However, in today’s climate, we believe it’s doubly important to get out there and shout about what’s great about British dairy, by attending major international trade events such as Anuga.

“This year’s show was a successful one for us. We were able to capitalise on our presence there by holding meetings which were organised by DIT’s team of ITAs, whose contacts and insight were extremely valuable. Although much work will have to be done to convert these leads into actual business, we are convinced that they will help us achieve our aim of growing the business’ overall sales by some 30% to £50 million over the next three years.”

Away from the show, businesses also attended a special evening reception hosted by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and supported by the Food is Great campaign, where more than 300 buyers and key opinion leaders sampled the best in British meat and dairy.

Food Minister Zac Goldsmith said: “It is fantastic to see our food and drink businesses promoting their world-famous produce and forging new links with emerging markets.

“Anuga is an excellent opportunity to showcase the food and drink that the South West is renowned for, and builds on the continued success of British businesses and our Food is GREAT campaign.”

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