Welsh F&B producers seek to enter Qatari market

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Massimo Bishop-Scotti, Head of Innovation at Prima Foods UK Limited, displaying his gluten-free products at an exhibition by the visiting Welsh trade delegation at the JW Marriott Hotel yesterday.

As many as 10 food and drink companies from Wales, in the UK, which are part of a visiting Welsh trade delegation to Doha, are eyeing the Qatari market and are looking for potential partners, distributors, and customers in the country. Some of the participating Welsh companies have already established their brands after decades of exporting their products to various countries around the world, while others have been winning prestigious international awards.

The Welsh products which have been exhibited at a road show yesterday are expected to cater to the growing demand for premium and sustainably sourced products in the Qatari market. According to data released by the Welsh government, Qatar is the second largest market in the Middle East for Welsh exports, and is one of the top 20 markets worldwide for all Welsh exports, making it a key priority market of the Welsh and UK governments. Welsh exports to Qatar reached over QR750m in 2017.

Mark Hughes, Head of the Welsh delegation and Senior Manager for Export, Food Division at the Welsh Government, added that Welsh food and drink exports to the Middle East had also increased by 871 percent from £5m in 2014 to £48m in 2018.

 

“This is the second Welsh trade delegation of food and drink companies to Qatar, and we wish to build on the success of the previous trade delegation last year. Qatar is a new market for many of these producers and we want to provide the companies with the understanding about the Qatari market and the opportunities that exist here, especially with the hosting of the upcoming Fifa World Cup 2022. We’re committed to Qatar, and hopefully we’ll be back,” Hughes added while speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event.

Dunbia, said to be the largest lamb processor and one of the top five beef processors in Europe, is optimistic to reach a partnership agreement with Qatari shareholding company Widam Food. “We’re very strong in the retail trade in the UK. We’re killing about three million lamb and about a million cattle per year. I’ve been very impressed with Qatar and I see the potential here. I met with an official from Widam Food yesterday, and I’m optimistic that we can do business together,” said Richard Horsfall, Export Sales Manager at Dunbia.

The Lobster Pot, a global supplier of top quality live, sustainably sourced European Blue Lobster and Brown Crab, is also optimistic about forging new partnerships during the visit. “We’re hoping to be able to sell shellfish from Wales. We would probably invite potential customers to also come and visit us in the UK,” said Julie Hill. The Lobster Pot is a family business which has been operating for over 70 years. About 99 percent of its products are exported to Europe, China, Japan, Singapore, and the Middle East.

Premium brands such as Llanllyr Water, which won the Queen’s Award for International Trade and Frank’s Ice Cream Limited which has been winning regional, national, and international awards over the past 90 years are also targeting to enter the Qatari market. Other Welsh companies offering gluten-free and other plant-based products include Prima Foods UK Limited, Gut Instinct Foods, Nashville Food Group, and Ultrapharm Ltd. The other participating meat companies also include Farmers Fresh Wales and Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

Source: www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

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