The FoodEx South West ‘Meet the Buyer’ event, staged across two days this week at Bristol’s picturesque, 19th century manor house Berwick Lodge, plays host to over 100 South West based food and drink companies all hoping to impress the 12 international buyers who have travelled to Bristol in search of new British products for their outlets.
Despite growing concerns about the UK’s ability to trade internationally post-Brexit, the event has attracted a myriad of novice and experienced exporters. Some looking to expand on the orders they are already fulfilling across the globe, and others who are attending in the hope of securing their company’s first international sale.
FoodEx South West, a programme started by Business West and the UK government has been growing in popularity since its launch last year. It’s hoped that its first flagship ‘Meet the Buyer’ event will succeed in pairing local food and drink producers with a range of international buyers to deliver an influx of new Euro trade for the region.
James Monk, Director of International Trade at Business West was asked about the ‘gloomy outlook’ surrounding UK exports post-Brexit:
“We’ve got 12 buyers from Europe and beyond who are here today because they want to buy British products. They love the quality, they love our equitable trading, and our products are the cheapest they’ve been for decades. So who wouldn’t want to trade with us?”
The South West of England is a renowned region globally for its quality food and drink produce, and luxury chocolate, cider, cheese, tea, fudge and a huge range of ales were just a few of the products attracting strong interest from the international buyers. Over the course of the two days 100’s of bilateral meetings between producers and buyers will take place, and deals will be made.
Amanda Stansfield, owner of Taunton based Ice Cream makers Granny Gothards, already exports to Dubai but today met with a series of new potential buyers, commented:
"Today has been a fabulous day; I've met buyers from Turkey, Belgium and France who are all interested in both the retail and food service side of my business. I'm thrilled to be here because without the support of FoodEx South West and Business West I wouldn't have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with international buyers."
Majid Lazraq from Wonderfood, a Belgium based distributor said:
“I have had clients for over 10 years who love very unique and unusual food products for their stores and the South West of England always produces high quality unique products. Today I met with Della Fox from Fox Gourmet Foods who shared a collection of jams, they were very British and I am keen to get the products in front of my clients as soon as I get back.”
FoodEx South West offers a range of free support for food and drink companies who are looking to export their produce. This support service includes promotion of products to international buyers through an online directory and a virtual trade fair, as well as advice on IP, import tariffs, documentation and trading regulations.
To find out more click here.