Regional Highlights

The East of England is well known for the quality of its agri-food and fishing expertise, with rich Fenland soil and fertile coastal waters. Across this varied region, from countryside to city, companies are producing exciting ranges of food and drinks.

Farmers in the East of England cultivate a wide variety of foodstuffs, including cereals, sugar beet, beetroot, peas, beans, apples, strawberries, potatoes and many more.

Britain’s pig and poultry farms are centred mainly in The East of England and have a strong tradition of quality. Our poultry farms supply 2.2 million eggs and over a quarter of England’s table chickens.

This heritage of over 1000 years of landscape cultivation and animal husbandry is a foundation on which fresh thinking and process innovation continues to flourish in the 21st century. With latest developments including patents in package marinating and specialist malting and supply processes, the East of England’s food and drink industry specialists are continually inventive and constantly in demand.

East of England Food & Drink Taskforce

Our East of England Food & Drink Taskforce has been put together to support retail & consumer businesses through the development and implementation of proactive initiatives designed to add value for our clients. It is one of just four Taskforces in Exemplas Trade Services.

    • Simon Crosland
      • Taskforce Chair
    • Jose Richart
      • Countries of expertise: Spain, Japan, Latin America
      • Areas of expertise: Food & Drink, Craft Beer
    • Nick Walsh
      • Countries of expertise: France, Italy
      • Areas of expertise: Food & Drink, Agri-tech, Food Tech

Events and initiatives

The East of England Retail Taskforce organises events and initiatives both in the UK and overseas markets to help drive the international sales of retail and consumer companies in the region. They include:

  • The East of England Food & Drink Cluster

The food and drink cluster consists of companies from a number of areas and niches within the sector. The cluster meets every 4 months to share information and knowledge about the sector and doing business overseas. A digital and hard copy brochure showcasing the businesses from the cluster is shared with overseas colleagues and buyers as a way to introduce products from the region to potential overseas partners.

  • The East of England Craft Beer & Cider Cluster

In addition to the wider food and drink cluster, there is also a Craft Beer Cluster who meet regularly throughout the year to discuss exporting. These meetings have previously included case studies from experienced craft beer exporters, visits from international beer buyers and tasting sessions with a sommelier. Two missions have also seen members of the cluster travel to Dusseldorf and Valencia to meet buyers and understand more about the markets. View Valencia 2018 mission video here.

  • Food & Drink Meet the Buyer events

ETSL has planned and delivered successfully three Global Food Forum meet the buyer events with the most recent bringing together more than 30 international buyers, 18 DIT Commercial Officers and 90 food and drink sellers from across the UK. The event enabled more than 500 1-2-1 meetings to take place and lasting business relationships to be formed. Check out Global Food Forum 2018’s highlights.

  • England’s Finest Marketplace

As part of our leadership stance on the F&D sector ETSL has invested considerable resource to develop a bespoke digital platform with the aim of transforming the relevance and effectiveness of connections made between sellers and buyers. Learn about England’s Finest Marketplace here.

Success stories

    • Cocoda
      • With our support, Cambridge based Cocoda secured a brand new contract with a supplier in Japan. Read full story here.
    • Paddy & Scott’s
      • Coffee company Paddy & Scott’s, based in Suffolk, outline how they brewed success in Middle East. Read full story here.
    • Elgood’s Brewery
      • Cambridgeshire brewery Elgood’s outline how they exported their beer to Argentina with our support. Read the full story here.

Export Champions

East of England Export Champion_East of England Export Champion Logo 2019

The East of England has 3 Export Champions from the Food & Drink sector who will be happy to offer export help, guidance and support based on their experiences as international exporters. They are:

    • Gourmet popcorn makers, Joe & Seph’s
    • Chocolates, biscuits & confectionery supplier, Cocoda
    • Manufacturers of marmalade, jam and more, Tiptree