North East food and drink businesses have showcased their products to a group of German dignitaries as part of a Northern Powerhouse trade mission to Munich.
Produce from 16 northern companies, including 12 from the North East, were presented in Germany as part of the annual Queen’s Birthday Party celebrations, held in the centre of Munich.
Guests included the HM Consul General for Bavaria, Paul Heardman, who tasted teas from Ringtons Tea of Newcastle, sipped a range of North East beers represented by Brewstories, and tried cheese from Doddington Dairy along with preserves from Newcastle’s Fat Lass Preserves.
Other attendees included Newcastle-based NOVELTEA, manufacturers of alcoholic tea blends, who recently began exporting their product to China with support from DIT.
Vincent Efferoth, co-founder of NOVELTEA, said: “This visit was an invaluable opportunity, giving us the chance to find out more about the German market, and hone our exporting strategy.
“Before we left for Munich we had prepared a business proposal for German premium retailers we thought might be interested in our product. We returned from Munich with the contact details of the main alcohol buyers from one of Germany’s largest most prestigious retailers, and soon after the event we were contacted by a second big German retailer interested in stocking NOVELTEA.
“There’s nothing like being able to meet potential overseas customers face-to-face, and thanks to DIT’s support on missions like this, we’re now even better prepared to continue expanding overseas. If a start-up like ours can find success overseas, many others can too.”
David Coppock, head of regions, North East, Department for International Trade, said: “The Queen’s Birthday event in Munich is a tradition that’s been running for years, but this is the first time that we’ve taken a Northern Powerhouse delegation to the event.
“The feedback was exceptional, with all of the guests praising the quality of the produce on offer. In fact, there was little left of our northern cheese board by the end of the party.
“There is currently huge demand for the North East’s food and drink in Germany, with exports totalling £7.6 million in 2017, up 5.8% on 2016. Although exporting can be hugely profitable for businesses, the process does hold its challenges. However, the Department for International Trade IT is on hand to support businesses interested in taking the first steps, or in growing their exports.”
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