Food and drink companies to showcase products in Middle East during 'Made in Britain' promotion

Zoe Bagnall
Content and PR Executive | Business West
25th November 2020

Independent food and drink companies across the UK will be showcasing their products to consumers in Dubai during a Made in Britain’ promotion from 25 November to 9 December.  

As part of a project organised by the Department for International Trade, the Food is GREAT campaign and Santander, in conjunction with The Great British Food Programme, businesses will connect with potential customers through the Al Maya Group retailer.

Santander and The Great British Food Programme delivered by Business West, DIT’s regional delivery partner in the South West of England, aims to connect UK food and drink producers with a host of international buyers who are hungry to buy high quality British produce. 

Al Maya Group specialise in fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and have over 50 retail stores in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

The opportunity will offer businesses a launch pad into exporting and educate producers about the process and requirements involved when selling to the market. Al Maya will take stock of volumes sold by the end of the promotion for consideration for future trade relationships.

According to the Food & Drink Federation, UK food and drink businesses exported £80m worth of products to the country in the first quarter of 2020, a 7% increase on the same period in 2019. Total spending on food and drink in the UAE is forecast to rise 6.9% to £29.7bn in 2020.3

TruffleHunter, producer of award-winning Truffle products based in South Cerney in Gloucestershire, is showcasing its product during the week. Commenting on the opportunity, John Gregson Sales Director for the company, said:

“TruffleHunter is very excited to be working with Al Maya. This will be the first time that our products have been sold in the UAE and we are delighted to be partnering with a business of Al Maya’s size and prestige.”

Martin Clarkson, Director of International Sales at For Aisha, producer of Halal baby food based in Grantham, said: 

“We hope to see our products in the Al Maya stores well beyond this promotion.”  

“In these challenging times of restricted travel and postponement of trade fairs, the Santander / DIT Al Maya Group scheme is a really welcome initiative.

Olga Grieves, Export Sales Manager at Provenance brands based in Helston in Cornwall said:

“The project is a great and easy way of introducing new products to distributors at minimal cost to the producer.”

“We are so thankful for the support in helping us step up our exports, especially in the difficult period of lockdown.”

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Trade in the South West said:

“This project is a fantastic opportunity for UK food and drink companies, who are renowned for their high-quality to showcase their products in a fast-growing market. 

“COVID-19 has created hurdles for businesses, but it is through initiatives such as these that firms can become resilient to economic instabilities and grow their business through nurturing relationships with overseas buyers.”  

Monika Gajek, Country Specialist for Poland, CEE, Germany, Nordics & UAE Santander UK said:

“We’re proud to be involved in this initiative to support nine exciting UK food and drink producers. Santander UK is committed to supporting Food and Drink manufacturers and this joint programme is a great example of where our specialist expertise, combined with the reach of international networks, can help businesses on their journey to achieve international expansion.”

For further information on DIT’s exporting support and international opportunities, visit Companies in the South West can find out about their export options and contact one of DIT’s International Trade Advisers by visiting

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