AN INTERNATIONAL export cluster programme for Welsh food and drink businesses is underway as part of the Welsh Government’s strategy for the food and drink sector to develop and access new markets in new ways overseas.
The Welsh Government’s Food & Drink Export Cluster Lead Generation programme is intended to support suitable companies who are interested in exporting, and setting them up with buyers and distributors by product category in order to develop and strengthen business, trade and export relationships.
This export cluster lead generation programme aims to support efforts to develop and harness vital partnerships for the Welsh food and drinks sector with chosen target markets in Japan and, for the first time, in Taiwan and South Korea.
Next week (from Monday 21 June) the programme will focus on South Korea, with 15 Welsh companies taking part in the virtual visit to South Korea with 80 meetings planned throughout the week with 28 buyers. Participating companies have a webinar scheduled for the first morning where they will have an introduction to the South Korean market and gain an understanding of buyers’ expectations. Samples of products from the respective companies have already been sent overseas and planned meetings throughout the week will offer the opportunity to discuss in more detail.
The Welsh companies participating cover a broad range across the food and drink sector, from dairy, drinks, fine foods and pet foods.
Daniel Jones, Head of UK Sales & Marketing of Daioni Organic is one producer taking part,
“This virtual export visit to South Korea provides us with a great opportunity to build contacts and access new markets.
“Securing new and maintaining current export markets is crucial to our ambition for 2021 and beyond, so we can continue growing Daioni’s international footprint.”
Another company embarking on the virtual visit is Cradocs, producers of vegan and vegetarian friendly savoury biscuits. Commenting ahead of the visit owner of Cradocs, Allie Thomas says,
“There is no easier market than the one on our doorstep, but that is not available to us, therefore we need to do what we have to in order to access new markets.
“We are a small company and are thankful to the Welsh Government for giving us this opportunity, and for the many meetings they have managed to arrange for us. I am very excited to see how it will work and look forward to dialling in next week to talk with potential buyers – and hopefully making some deals.”
COVID-19 has made for a very challenging environment for business. In addition, businesses have also been faced with the end of the EU transition period, which has proven to be a source of major disruption with trading partners.
Unlocking new markets brings even greater opportunities for Welsh food and drink businesses to not only showcase the quality produce around the world, but also generate more revenue and increase profits. With Wales’s reputation and provenance, there is a strong platform for further growth that will benefit everyone.
Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd Lesley Griffiths MS believes that with Wales’s reputation and provenance, there is a strong platform for further growth that can benefit everyone.
The Minister said: “Virtual trade visits are a great way for many of Wales’ food and drink companies to showcase their excellent products and capabilities to international audiences in a format that is suited to the current climate.
“This is the third virtual visit in this export cluster programme the Welsh Government has supported and provides businesses with a chance to explore accessing new markets. I wish them every success.”
This virtual visit follows on the back of visits to Japan and Taiwan earlier this year.