Manufacturers embark on China trade mission

By Matt Atherton

- Last updated on GMT

Eleven SMEs embarked on a food and drink trade mission to China
Eleven SMEs embarked on a food and drink trade mission to China

Related tags International trade

Food and drink manufacturers are joining a trade mission to the “prime market” of China to meet distributors and buyers, in a bid to boost exports.

The small and medium-sized firms, five of which are based in south-west England, will meet Chinese importers that are interested in the British products. The trade mission, organised and funded by Santander, will include meeting 12 distributors in three cities.

Santander Corporate & Commercial regional director David Shalliday said: “It has become increasingly important for UK small and medium-sized enterprises​ [SMEs] to look overseas for growth opportunities. Companies are stronger and more resilient to economic downturns when they are diversified, and have commercial activity with different economies.

‘A prime market’

Trade mission manufacturers

  • Jakemans
  • Tudor Rose International
  • AE Rodda & Sons
  • Christie International
  • Salcombe Distilling Company
  • Luscombe
  • Frobishers Juices
  • Stute Foods
  • The Granola Girls
  • Bramley & Gage
  • Skinner Brewing

“Santander believes that China is a prime market for food and drink SMEs to consider, with its growing economy and strong interest in British produced products.”

Manufacturers embarking on the week-long trade mission included menthol confectionery firm Jakemans, juice and spreads maker Stute Foods and drinks maker Luscombe. See the box on the right for a full list of manufacturers taking part in the trade mission.

The trade mission was part of Santander’s plan to help the UK food and drink sector to invest for growth and expansion, it said.

China is the second-largest economy in the world, after the US, and sales of consumer goods are set to exceed RMB37tn (£4.4tn) this year, Santander said. Chinese consumers were increasingly attracted to brands with a rich heritage, and a premium product, it added.

‘Premium and high quality goods’

Shalliday said: “As the purchasing power of Chinese citizens increase – and the country’s major cities become ever more comparable to a developed market like the UK – consumers are looking for premium and high quality goods.

“For any growing UK exporters in the consumer goods sector, China is a market not to be ignored. Santander’s objective is to facilitate a UK exporter’s journey into China, while adding value from the substantial ecosystem of support we have built.”

Meanwhile, the Food Manufacture Group is staging a one-day Food Xport conference​ on February 8, at Ardencote Manor, Warwickshire, in partnership with its sister titles, British Baker​ and Meat Trades Journal​. See the box below for more information.

Food Xport conference

The Food Xport conference on February 8 will arm delegates with latest advice needed to unlock the potential of global export markets.

The day comprises four sessions, that will cover: Identifying your potential for growth, How to organise your UK business to drive exports, World Trade Organisation Rules and What can be learned from food and drink manufacturers trading profitably overseas.

The conference’s morning session will be chaired by NFU director general Terry Jones.

Book your place here​.

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