Newcastle’s Tea Venture Ltd, manufacturers of alcoholic tea Noveltea, were one of five North East businesses that attended the Food & Hotel China trade show last week
Firms from across the North East embarked on a trade mission to Shanghai last week (13-15 November), to secure export opportunities at China’s largest trade show for the food and hospitality industry.
Five of the region’s brands - including Newcastle’s Noveltea, which manufactures alcoholic tea – exhibited at Food & Hotel China (FHC) under the Northern Powerhouse banner.
The firms were among a mission of 23 British producers organised as part of the Food is GREAT campaign - the UK government initiative to showcase food and drink overseas by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Food is GREAT hosted an exclusive event at the show where 50 companies exhibited products to 300 attendees, including Chinese distributors and e-commerce buyers, industry buyers for hotels, restaurants and supermarkets, key opinion leaders and representatives from Chinese trade media and associations.
It also hosted sessions highlighting the strength of the UK’s food and drink market, and a networking event that was broadcast via WeChat, China’s popular social media and messaging app, featuring tours of the UK pavilion and interviews with UK businesses.
Other firms from the region exhibiting at the show included organic dairy producer Acorn Dairy, Newcastle craft brewer Tyne Bank Brewery, cheesemakers Kavli UK Ltd, owners of the Primula Cheese brand, and barista equipment specialist Clockwork Espresso.
Minister David Rutley, said: “From Scottish salmon and whisky to tea, pork and beer, UK exports of food and drink to China have more than doubled in the past three years, making it one of our most significant export markets, worth over £564m.
“This is great news for our food and drink industry, but as the appetite for quality British produce continues to grow across the globe I want to see even more trade, and collaboration on agri-technology, innovation and skills, between China and the UK.
“With the help available from the cross-government Food is GREAT campaign, UK companies have brilliant opportunities to expand their businesses by exporting to increasingly valuable markets such as China.”
Secretary of state for international trade, Liam Fox, was in Shanghai for the China International Import Expo (CIIE) earlier in the month, where he led a UK delegation which included more than 50 UK firms, from huge global brands like British Airways and HSBC to cutting-edge tech firms like Mi Hiepa Sports, to showcase the very best of what the UK has to offer to Chinese consumers and businesses.
David Coppock, head of regions – North East, at DIT, said: “China is a rapidly growing market for food and drink producers across the North East. In fact, our exports of food and drink to China grew by 26 per cent in the year to June 2018, compared to the previous 12 months.
“Attending FHC gave delegates a first-hand understanding of the opportunities the Chinese market presents, as well as giving Chinese buyers the chance to sample the quality and variety of goods that the North East has to offer.”
David continued: “We know that exporting can offer real business benefits, including increased profitability and resilience. To help more local producers start or grow their export activity, we’ve got a network of international trade advisers based across the North East who are on hand to lend their support. They can help to address export challenges such as specific packaging requirements and quality control standards, as well as offer guidance on administration, tax and logistics.
“I’m encouraging anyone interested in seeing how they could take their products overseas to get in touch – the support is out there, and you could be too.”
Firms looking for support should contact 0345 136 0169 or email email@example.com. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has thousands of live export opportunities currently listed and includes general information on exporting and events.
PD Ports Northern Powerhouse Export Awards, in association with HSBC and the Department for International Trade, seeks to recognise the most entrepreneurial exporters from across the North of England.
For more info visit www.northernexportawards.co.uk.
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