Welsh companies looking to tackle the French food and drink market

Welsh companies looking to tackle the French food and drink market

A selection of Welsh food and drink companies are hoping to strengthen and build ties with prospective partners and investors as they visit Paris, France next week.

As part of the Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Wales Trade Development Visit to the region from 24-27 April 2023, seven food and drink companies will be given the opportunity to showcase their products to a host of distributors and retail buyers, all looking to secure new business.

France is the second largest export market for Welsh food and drink, and with the Rugby World Cup set to take place there later this year, it is being seen as a great opportunity to be promoting Welsh produce.

The Welsh companies taking part in the Trade Development Visit to Paris include Cradoc’s Savory Biscuits, Cwmfarm Charcuterie Products, Hensol Castle Distillery, In the Welsh Wind, Meridian Foods, Sims Foods Limited – SamosaCo and Tŷ Nant.

Strengthen business, trade

Following the success of the Welsh Government’s participation in SIAL 2022, there is great potential for Welsh food and drink companies to export to France. The aim of the visit is to leverage networking and collaboration opportunities between the producers, Welsh Government and France as well as strengthen business, trade, and tourism relationships.

Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Organiser, Lesley Griffiths, said:

“Exports for the sector have grown in the past decade and we are supporting companies in Wales to see this continue. Our export support program is available to all food and drinks businesses and helps aspiring, new and established exporters.

“It’s great Welsh companies have this opportunity to showcase their fantastic products and to build new working relationships in France ahead of the Rugby World Cup.”

During the visit, delegates will have an opportunity to showcase products to selected buyers, importers and distributors and develop new business through a series of in-market briefings, store visits and meet buyer opportunities.

One company looking to build on the interest shown at SIAL Paris last year is Swansea-based Cwmfarm Charcuterie, as Ruth Davies comments

“We received quite a bit of interest following our attendance at SIAL Paris last year and we are looking to develop these links further. I am hoping to come away from this visit with a distributor or agent in place to assist going forward as well as create new contacts.

“This Trade Mission will give us a fantastic opportunity to put our products in front of potential buyers ahead of the Rugby World Cup later this year.”

North Wales-based Meridian Foods, is another company going to Paris and hoping to find a suitable trading partner in the region for their nut butter brand.

Grant Martin, National Account Manager at Meridian Foods said

“Our objective by attending the Trade Development Visit is to understand the French nut butter market in greater detail and find a suitable route to market, either via a distributor or direct to retail for our Meridian brand.”

Allie Thomas, Managing Director of Cradoc’s Savory Biscuits in Brecon is also looking to use the French visit as a means of investing in the market and reviewing product placement, in light of the serving of bread with cheese as the norm.

“We have been expanding our exports wholesale business and concentrating on growing markets. We want to reduce our carbon footprint and France is on our doorstep. This market could potentially work better if we are able to understand how we might adapt our products to meet the needs of this bread-oriented nation.

“We are really looking forward to this visit, we experienced a lot of interest in SIAL Paris 2022, last October and need to make those connections work for us.”

France is the second-largest export market for Welsh food and drink

France is the second largest export market for Welsh food and drink, with the value reaching £100m in 2021, up from £72m in 2020. The highest value export category was meat and meat products at £68m, followed by cereals and cereal preparations at £9m. The UK exported £2.3bn of food and drink goods to France in 2021.

France’s imports of goods rose by 21.2% in 2021, while they have the fifth largest packaged food market in the world. The French market is sophisticated with an appreciation for quality and traceability. Increasingly, France is opening to international flavours.

Highlights of the visit will include meetings with a number of buyers, both in the retail and food service sector. There will also be a retail market tour for delegates to experience what French food markets are like and will include a visit to Rungis Market, the largest wholesale food market which serves the Paris metropolitan area and beyond, which is said to be the largest food market in the world.

Unlocking new markets brings even greater opportunities for these businesses to not only showcase their quality produce around the world but also generate more revenue and increase profits.

For more information on how the Welsh Government can assist your business with exporting please visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/export/

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