Secretary of State for Scotland highlights importance of exports at Fruit Logistica

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On a visit to AHDB Exports stand at the international food trade show Fruit Logistica in Berlin, David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, said that expanding Scottish and British food exports should be a key priority for the industry.

He said: “I was really impressed with the AHDB presence at the show, and by the success and ambition of the businesses exhibiting on the stand. Growing our exports of fresh produce will be a key part of our economic growth. Events like Fruit Logistica offer a fantastic opportunity to create and develop new business contacts and open up new markets to Scottish companies.”

Fruit Logistica is one of the biggest international trade shows for fresh produce with over 2,500 exhibitors and 65,000 trade visitors gathered from over 150 countries. The AHDB Exports stand offers British producers a vital platform to promote, do business and network at this important event. AHDB’s emphasis is on providing opportunities for British growers of to explore new markets and develop new ones.

Organised by AHDB Horticulture and Potatoes, the AHDB Exports stand showcases the excellence of horticulture and potatoes grown in Britain, with growers and science organisations also exhibiting. This year there were seven external organisations on the stand; James Hutton Ltd, the Isle of Ely, A.C Goatham, Angus Soft Fruits, JEPCO, Bedfordshire Growers and SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture), each working hard to raise the profile of British produce and expertise with the international market.

Angus Soft Fruits, a UK berry producer, has been attending the event with AHDB for a number of years and have had a number of successes resulting from the show.

“The growth of Angus Soft Fruits has been impressive, “AHDB’s Head of Exports Peter Hardwick said, “and is yet more evidence of the significant opportunities this event brings UK producers. The great thing about the AHDB stand is that our exhibitors see genuine improvements in their businesses, which is why many come back year after year and our newcomers usually join after a recommendation from one of the current exhibitors.”

This was certainly the case for JEPCO, a specialist grower of Continental Leaf, Baby Leaf and Salad Onions, based in the East of England who are looking to develop their export potential. Managing Director for the Lincolnshire Division, Tony Padoan, was keen to join the stand after talking to AHDB Exports exhibitors in 2016.

He said: “Exploring the opportunity of exports really excites us, and the feedback we have highlights the real potential for our business. From my point of view exhibiting here has been a fantastic investment, there is a real hunger here for our products. I have just had a meeting with someone looking to develop our product to export to Holland, Belgium and France. If even a fraction of the potential business opportunities we have discussed here come off we will still be doing amazingly well.”

A highlight of the show is the ‘GREAT’ British Reception hosted by AHDB Exports, with Tony Sims, Director, Department of International Trade, Germany, in attendance.

Echoing the Secretary of State’s emphasis on increasing exports, Tony said: “British products have an excellent international reputation and we are keen to see overseas exports of these continue to grow. Our seed potatoes for example, are high health and high quality, and our horticultural products, are as yet just a tiny part of a huge global market. There are huge opportunities there and we are keen to support producers to make the most of them.”

AHDB Potatoes Board Chair Fiona Fell also attended the event, she said: “AHDB spends £5 million annually supporting export market development and the size and scope of events like Fruit Logitstica the potential that this investment taps into.

“This year most of our exhibitors were promoting different products and services, from scientific expertise to soft and tree fruits and field vegetables. But they all agreed on one thing, that events like these are key to growing their businesses’ export potential.”

The picture shows David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, with Fraser Black, Managing Director of James Hutton Ltd, which exhibited at Fruit Logistica with AHDB.


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