Yorkshire firms on the menu at Chinese trade show

Wensleydale's cheese and milk are among a handful of Yorkshire products that are gaining popularity in China.

Yorkshire firms on the menu at Chinese trade show

A group of Yorkshire food and drink firms including Seabrook and North Brewing Co have been showcasing their wares at China’s biggest hospitality trade show.

Ten of the region’s breweries, dairy producers and confectionary brands exhibited at Food & Hotel China (FHC) in Shanghai under the Northern Powerhouse banner.

The firms were among a mission of 60 British producers and distributors led by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The FHC show included four pavilions exhibiting the UK’s high-quality and diverse food and drink brands, including Yorkshire Dales dairy firm Wensleydale Creamery, East Riding preserves producer Moordale Foods, and Sheffield ice cream business Yee Kwan.

British beer was centre stage at this year’s show, with a dedicated UK beer pavilion that introduced Leeds based North Brewing Co, and Sheffield’s Baijiu Beer Company to international buyers.

The show also included a British beer and spirits tasting experience, which was live streamed to millions across China.

UK beer exports were worth £583 million in 2016; an increase of 16% on the previous year. The UK now exports beer to more than 100 countries.

The Yorkshire firms’ mission to FHC was part of the Food is GREAT campaign, the UK Government’s cross-department initiative to showcase UK food and drink overseas and to support firms to export.

Mark Robson, regional director for Yorkshire at the Department of International Trade, said: “Exporting can really accelerate growth and boost profitability. We have over 29 international trade advisors based in Yorkshire and Humber who can help firms navigate the exporting process.

“Whether it be exporting for the first time or support in targeting new markets. Yorkshire is renowned not only for its quality but for its innovation in food and drink production.

“There is currently a high demand for British food and drink across China and this year it became our 8th largest export market.

“It’s not just China. Over the past ten years, global demand for our produce has grown nearly a third and our food and drink exports are now worth over £20bn.

“This international demand presents an unprecedented opportunity for food and drink firms of all sizes across Yorkshire.”