Exploring Nordic export opportunities is on the horizon for a group of Welsh food and drink producers as part of the Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Wales Trade Development Visit to Norway and Denmark from 17th to 22nd September.

The visit follows hard on the heels of the news that Wales grew its food and drink exports by 24.5% between 2021 and 2022, a bigger rise than the overall UK increase of 21.6%, and a trend that this visit hopes to continue.

Taking part in the Trade Development Visit and representing Wales’s flourishing drinks sector are Glamorgan Brewing, Penderyn Distillery and Devil’s Bridge Rum, with Express Contract Drying flying the flag for the nation’s high quality ingredients manufacturers.

Commenting on their forthcoming visit, Giancarlo Bianchi, Commercial Director at Penderyn said,

We are delighted to be taking part in this Trade Development Visit to Norway, particularly as Single Malt Welsh Whisky is the first new UK Spirit to achieve the GI status since the launch of the UK GI. Penderyn Distillery was one of four Welsh distilleries which were part of the final application. The GI recognition is a real badge of honour and we’re in great company with other Welsh producers who have achieved this recognition. We export to many countries across the world and know the value that our customers place on the quality and provenance of our products and we look forward to introducing our brand to the Norwegian market. The Nordics is a key region for whisky so the chance to extend our availability in this region is a fantastic one.

Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths, said: “Welsh food and drink exports continue to go from strength to strength with record results being published recently. This is a testament to the commitment and innovative spirit businesses across Wales have to ensure high quality products.

Producers benefit greatly from taking part in these Trade Development Visits which are planned carefully so they can reap the full benefits and include, for example, well targeted buyer meetings.

I am pleased the Welsh Government is able to support this trade visit to Norway and Denmark, which offers new and experienced exporters the opportunity to establish and build working relationships abroad. I wish the group a very successful visit.”

Also taking part in this two-centre visit is Express Contract Drying, a leading UK Based manufacturer and supplier of spray dried ingredients including vinegar powders, fruit and fruit juice powders, micro encapsulated fat powders, microencapsulated vitamins, powders of named provenance. Pat McDonagh, Commercial Director at ECD, said

Whilst we are already exporting to a number of countries, we very much appreciate the support offered by Welsh Government to help us explore and extend our reach into new markets. We are really looking forward to the face-to-face meetings with customers and suppliers, meeting new prospects, carrying out market research, and investigating our competitors.

According to figures published by Stats Wales, Wales has been strengthening its trading relationship with both Norway and Denmark over recent years. Exports from all sectors to Norway rose by just over 30% between 2021 and 2022, and to Denmark by over 55% during the same period.

Glamorgan Brewing will also be joining the delegation, promoting its range of craft beers. Soumitro Saha from Glamorgan Brewing commented,

We are excited to be joining this Trade Development Visit and to have the opportunity to present our products to the discerning beer drinkers in Norway and Denmark. This is our first overseas market visit with Welsh Government and is an important part of building our export business. I am looking forward to meeting buyers and researching the markets further to inform our future export strategy.

The Trade Development Visit will include a drinks reception for buyers, presenting a great opportunity to showcase the quality and range of drinks produced in Wales. All the drinks producers taking part in the visit have a strong brand story to share with the buyers. The visit also represents an opportunity to promote the Welsh food and drink sector ahead of BlasCymru/TasteWales which takes place at the International Convention Centre (ICC Wales) Newport on 25-26 October 2023.

Devil’s Bridge Rum combines Welsh ingredients with Caribbean distilling traditions. Founder Gregor Shaw will be taking part in the visit and commented:

We believe our unique product, which evokes the legends and folklore of one of Wales’s iconic sites, will resonate with buyers and consumers in Norway and Denmark with our shared strong traditions of myths and legends. We are proud that our rum contains products such as Bara Brith and Welsh butter as this allows us to talk about the wider Welsh food industry as part of our story. With this visit, we aim to establish long-lasting relationships with distributors and retail partners, as well as gain valuable insights into how our product fits into the Scandinavian market. Our ultimate goal is to expand our footprint while honouring our Welsh heritage and contributing to the global appreciation of quality rum.

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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