Harrogate firms head to Dubai for tasty trade deals

Now in its 24th year, Gulfood attracts more than 100,000 visitors from around the world each year. (S)
Now in its 24th year, Gulfood attracts more than 100,000 visitors from around the world each year. (S)

Local firms including Harrogate Spring Water were among 11 Yorkshire companies that headed to Dubai this month for Gulfood, the world’s largest food and drink trade show.

The companies were exhibiting as part of a Northern Powerhouse delegation organised by the Food is GREAT campaign, the cross-departmental export-boosting initiative between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Delegates included Harrogate-based oxygen drink firm Avrox Technologies, which became the 1,000th delegate to register and attend a Northern Powerhouse trade mission since the missions programme was launched in 2016.

Thomas Averre, strategy director at Avrox, said: “The trip was extremely valuable in helping us strengthen existing relationships and building new ones – we’re eager to see where discussions with new contacts will take us.”

International Trade Advisers (ITAs) from DIT helped the Yorkshire dairy, confectionery, meat and health-foods companies to connect with international distributors and retailers at the event. These one-to-one meetings enabled the businesses to showcase their products and capabilities to potential overseas partners.

Mark Robson, Head, UK Regions – Yorkshire and Humber, at the Department for International Trade, said: “Exports of Yorkshire and the Humber food and drink are on the rise - worth £1.17bn in the year to September 2018. This is down to ambitious companies like those attending Gulfood, who are looking beyond the UK market and realising the potential to sell their produce overseas.”

Businesses looking for support from an ITA to begin or grow their exporting should contact 0300 365 1000 or email yorkshire@mobile.trade.gov.uk.

They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has a number of live export opportunities currently listed, including general information on exporting and events.