Eleven Yorkshire food and drink companies including Harrogate Spring Water sought out new international trade ties in Dubai at the world’s largest food and drink trade show, Gulfood.
Now in its 24th year, the five-day international exhibition attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year and features 5,000 food & drink exhibitors from around the world.
The 11 Yorkshire companies were exhibited as part of a Northern Powerhouse delegation organised by the Food is GREAT campaign – the cross-departmental initiative between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT). The campaign aims to showcase UK food and drink overseas, and to help businesses to export.
International Trade Advisers (ITAs) from DIT helped the Yorkshire dairy, confectionary, meat and health-foods companies to connect with international distributors and retailers at the event. These one-to-one meetings enabled the businesses to showcase their products and capabilities to potential overseas partners.
Wakefield master chocolatier David Greenwood-Haigh of Coeur de Xocolat, who helps to launch chocolate factories all over the world, acted as a Northern Powerhouse ambassador at the show, championing the North of England’s talents in food and drink.
Other delegates included Hull confectionary distributor Crème d’Or, Sheffield ice cream producer Yee Kwan and Bradford meats business The British Premium Sausage Company.
Avrox Technologies, a North Yorkshire based beverage-technology company, became the 1,000th delegate to register and attend a Northern Powerhouse trade mission since the missions programme was launched in 2016.
Thomas Averre, strategy director at Avrox, said: “British goods and services are renowned for quality and innovation by international buyers. Gulfood this week demonstrated how food and drink is no exception to this. We are especially fortunate in that we have a beverage product developed in collaboration with Oxford University, an iconic British institution that international audiences are familiar with.
“The trip was extremely valuable in helping us strengthen existing relationships and building new ones – we’re eager to see where discussions with new contacts will take us.
“Having advisers on hand was really important in helping us meet with new, trusted buyers and in preparing the due diligence required for entering new markets. Having the support of the British Government provides companies with a lot of credibility and this is even more important for a start-up operating internationally.”
Last year, Sheffield’s Pura Panela was just one of the Yorkshire businesses to strike an export deal after meeting buyers at the show. It has since secured a distribution contract to supply its artisan sugar cane juice to Middle East hypermarket chain LuLu, after meeting buyers at the show.
Mark Robson, head, UK Regions – Yorkshire and Humber, at the Department for International Trade, said: “Exports of Yorkshire and the Humber food and drink are on the rise – worth £1.17bn in the year to September 2018. This is down to ambitious companies like those attending Gulfood, who are looking beyond the UK market and realising the potential to sell their produce overseas.”
Businesses looking for support from an ITA to begin or grow their exporting should contact 0300 365 1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has a number of live export opportunities currently listed, including general information on exporting and events.