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Firms take part in overseas trade mission

Food and drink firms from across the north west embarked on a trade mission to Shanghai to secure export opportunities at China’s largest trade show for the food and hospitality industry.

Two Macclesfield-based businesses, chocolate manufacturer Chocolat Madagascar, and dairy farm management firm Grasslands Farming, exhibited at Food & Hotel China under the Northern Powerhouse banner.

The firms were among a mission of 23 British businesses organised as part of the Food is GREAT campaign - the UK government’s initiative to showcase food and drink overseas by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Department for International Trade.

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.

Minister David Rutley said: “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 £564 million.

“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.” 

Paul Stowers, head of regions – north west, at DIT, said: “Events like FHC highlight the extent of the opportunities available to north west firms overseas. In the year to June 2018, local exports of food and drink products to China grew by an impressive 31%, and it’s not just our goods that are in demand, but our services too.

“Attending the FHC show not only gave north west businesses the chance to directly network with potential new partners, but it also provided an opportunity to experience and understand the tastes and preferences of the Chinese market.”


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