Scotland food and drink firms hungry to export head to Cologne

Anuga food and drink fair in Cologne

NINETEEN food and drink businesses from across Scotland sought out new export customers as they attended the Anuga food and drink fair in Cologne, Germany earlier this month.

The trade show, which marks its 100th anniversary this year, hosts more than 7,400 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, and welcomes 165,000 trade visitors from around the world.

The businesses have so far been supported on their exporting journey by the Food is Great campaign – a cross-departmental initiative between the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) – to showcase UK food and drink overseas and help more businesses export.

Support has also been given to the businesses through Scottish Development International (SDI). SDI invited the producers to appear at its stand, supported with registration and admin, and provided a meeting room for the businesses to use.

SDI were also able to introduce the businesses to potential buyers via field specialists from Germany, Canada, and China.

The producers attending from the region, including Ashers Bakery, Coco Chocolatier, and Glasgow Distillery, exhibited at the show alongside more than 100 other UK businesses in a dedicated UK pavilion with support from DIT International Trade Advisers (ITAs).

Another Scottish business that attended Anuga was Edinburgh-based business The Drinks Bakery, which creates savoury biscuits that are flavour-profiled to accompany different alcoholic drinks. The business shipped its first order to a premium online food retailer in Germany in July 2019. SDI helped the biscuit producer meet new prospects via one-to-one meetings and it projects that these introductions will support the business’ aim of growing exports to 40% of overall revenue by 2020, up from 15% today.

Andy Murray, founder of The Drinks Bakery, said: “It was great to attend the Anuga tradeshow and we’re very thankful for the opportunity SDI gave us. We were able to meet potential buyers and create a network of connections, which is going to help boost our exporting activity.

Andy Murray, founder of The Drinks Bakery

“If we can give any advice to businesses thinking about exporting, it would be to seek help and use the services available to you. Both SDI and DIT have fantastic teams that have supported us on our exporting journey and have invaluable resources that businesses can tap into.”

Away from the show, Perth-based meat exporter, Thomas McKnight and Daughters, also attended a special evening reception hosted by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), where more than 300 buyers and key opinion leaders sampled the best in British meat and dairy.

Food Minister Zac Goldsmith said: “It is fantastic to see our food and drink businesses promoting their world-famous produce and forging new links with emerging markets.

“Anuga is an excellent opportunity to showcase the food and drink that Scotland is renowned for and builds on the continued success of British businesses and our Food is GREAT campaign.”

Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade, Graham Stuart said: “At £22.5 billion, UK food and drink overseas sales are at record levels thanks to the depth, quality, safety and welfare standards of our produce.

“The international appetite for British food and drink quality and brands has never been higher and the potential for growth is enormous. With DIT’s help I hope to see more and more British firms making the leap into new markets.”

The latest statistics show that food and drink exports for Scotland totalled more than £6.1 billion in the year to June 2019, an increase of 5% on the previous 12 months.

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