Yorkshire businesses including Spirit of Harrogate, Thirsk’s Shepherds Purse Cheeses, Leeds’ North Brewing Company and Bradford’s Seabrook Crisps were among the firms looking to increase exports to Europe at the Pavilions of Harrogate event.
The day comprised of 135 one-to-one meetings with individual buyers; a marketplace of 54 food and drink displays; and a series of workshops about marketing, business development, insights and trends in the food and drink sector.
The buyers event was organised by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT), Deliciously Yorkshire and RTC North.
Clare Whitaker, Director of Marketing at Spirit of Harrogate, makers of Slingsby gin, said: “It’s been great to meet buyers from Switzerland, France and Germany here in Harrogate, as well as attending useful marketing and business development workshops.
“The response has been extremely positive and I’m hoping these conversations lead us to new markets and help us grow our brand further afield so that more consumers can enjoy our award-winning products.”
According to DIT, firms can often face difficulties finding appropriate overseas buyers. To help companies navigate the challenges of selling abroad, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and DIT are offering extensive support for food and drink producers through the Food is GREAT exporting initiative, which aims to showcase UK food and drink overseas.
Mark Robson, Regional Director for Yorkshire and the Humber at the Department for International Trade, said: “As part of the Food is GREAT campaign, lots of local food and drink producers have developed strong relationships with European buyers, retailers and distributors.
“Exporting is an excellent way to boost firms’ growth and profitability. We have 29 International Trade Advisers based in Yorkshire and the Humber who can help firms navigate the exporting process. Whether it be exporting for the first time or support in targeting new markets.”
Firms in the region looking for support should contact DIT on 0300 365 1000 or email email@example.com
They can also visit great.gov.uk, which gives businesses across the UK access to millions of pounds’ worth of potential overseas business, helping them start or increase exporting.