Metals and chemicals supplier doubles exports after creating ‘export-friendly’ website

Wolverhampton-based Hart Materials has been working closely with the DIT team in Staffordshire to put in place a bespoke export strategy, targeting Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary and Slovenia. Part of this strategy has included a focus on the company’s website, making it more accessible to potential overseas clients.

After receiving DIT funding, the company – which supplies metals, alloys and metallic-composite products to the manufacturing sector – commissioned their digital provider to add eight new welcome pages to the website, each in the language of the targeted countries.

Dr Tony Hart, who founded Hart Materials in 1981, said: “We have been amazed at the increase in traffic since we launched those welcome pages, and in the 12 months to April this year we have seen our exports double from about 16% to 32%.

“It has demonstrated to us the importance of making changes to the company website specifically designed to increase exports.

“We are delighted that this trend has continued during the period April to the end of June 2017 during which time we have supplied no fewer than five additional export customers.

“The fact it has been a great success in just one year gives us confidence to continue in the same vein.”

Since launching the new pages, the company has since received an increase in enquiries from other countries, including five orders in succession from a company in Bulgaria and one from Romania.

Ian Harrison, director of exports for DIT in the Midlands, said: “Hart Materials is a great example of what can be achieved when a business focuses on its website. Our International Trade Advisers are ideally placed to provide this kind of specialist support as part of the wider Exporting is GREAT campaign and it’s great to see that their support is enabling a small company to compete successfully in new markets.”

A Worcestershire jeweller who specialises in making glass beads is celebrating her first major order to New Zealand, thanks to support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Julie Fountain of Beach Art Glass in Malvern has said now she has completed her first strategic export, she firmly believes the future of her business is in overseas sales.

“My bead jewellery is inspired by the sea and beach, which means it’s very summery, she said. Because of that seasonality I knew I had to expand and reach different countries because it is summer at different times of the year, depending on where they are.”

Award-winning Julie, who founded her business in 2015, joined Malvern Small Business Forum in the hope of getting advice about starting to export. It is there she met an international trade adviser (ITA) from the Hereford and Worcester DIT team.

Since then, the jeweller has been supported as she sought export markets, with DIT identifying key markets and also providing advice regarding her website to ensure it is optimised and found easily.

Julie received funding that enabled her to have a DIT-supported stand at the 2017 Jewellery & Watch show in Birmingham, which is where she met a buyer from an independent store in Beachlands, near Auckland, New Zealand.

“It was an amazing opportunity for me to be able to exhibit at the fair because I couldn’t have afforded to have gone otherwise, she said. It enabled me to meet buyers from around the world, which is very exciting. I’ve just shipped my first big order to New Zealand, which is a huge deal for a small business like mine, and it has really boosted my confidence –I really believe that the future of my business is overseas. That’s where it should be and I’m grateful to DIT for helping me start exporting”.

Ian Harrison, director of exports for DIT Midlands, said: Our Exporting is GREAT campaign is for all businesses – whatever their size – so it’s really encouraging to see a micro-business such as Beach Art Glass making an early success of its exporting plans. As Julie has found out, we provide a huge range of support to companies wanting to trade overseas and that support is ongoing

Following the launch of the Department for International Trade’s Midlands Engine strategy, and a series of successful missions last year, six more market visits focused on increasing export opportunities have now been announced for 2017/18. Each focuses on key target markets and sectors of strength from the region. Businesses that attended missions last year are already expecting to win orders in excess of £7.5 million as a result of the trips, and this keeps growing as further deals are done.

The market visits are structured around trade shows and exhibitions that will help Midlands businesses make the right connections to win orders. This will include one-to-one meetings as well as networking with potential partners and clients. Trade advisers will be on hand to support.

The next mission to leave the region, from 19-23 August 2017, will be to New York for NY Now, one of the world’s leading tradeshows for contemporary design and sophistication for home, lifestyle and gifts. The event attracts around 25,000 visitors from across the US and other international markets.

The TRAKO 12th International Railway Fair is running from the 26-29 September 2017 in Gdansk, Poland. TRAKO is the second largest rail show in Europe and brings together all elements of the rail industry from passenger rail, light rail, freight as well as infrastructure. There will be industry attendance and participation from across the board.

Anuga, Germany’s leading trade fair for food and beverages, brings together 160,000 visitors keen to discover the latest and most innovative products from more than 7000 exhibitors. This will be a must visit for the region’s food and drink companies and will take place 7-11 October 2017.

From 7-11 November 2017, the Midlands Engine will be visiting the China International Industry Fair (CIIF) in Shanghai, a hugely important event for the manufacturing sector. With £3.1bn exports from the Midlands to China this is a great opportunity to tap into a huge market for regional businesses. Businesses who attended the mission to China last year are already expecting to win nearly £1.2 million of orders.

David Williams, Chairman of UK-based law firm Geldards said of last year’s Midlands Engine mission to China: “The immediate outcomes of this trip exceeded my expectations. I established links with two law firms there and expect to be entering into a reciprocal arrangement with one.”

Moving into 2018, and following on from last year’s hugely successful visit, the region’s businesses are invited to join the delegation to Arab Health, the second largest healthcare exhibition in the world. The visit will be taking place from 29 January – 1 February in Dubai.

The final visit in the current programme will be to New Delhi for Auto Expo Components 2018. Taking place from 8 – 11 February, the expo is a display of automotive components, technology and services, organised by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India.

Simon Hall, Director, Department for International Trade in the Midlands, said:
“The Midlands Engine missions are a great opportunity to win new business. The Midlands has world-leading capabilities, particularly in innovation and quality, and there are some amazing international opportunities available. Never before has it been so important to expand internationally, and the Department for International Trade has the expertise to help businesses of all sizes succeed in either starting or increasing as an exporter.”

To register your interest in any of the market visits for free and without obligation, please visit http://www.midlands-engine2017-18.eventbrite.co.uk or call 0345 222 0159.

Pre-mission support is available from International Trade Advisers based across the region. To get in touch with a local adviser email info@tradewm.co.uk for businesses based in the West Midlands or info@tradeem.co.uk for the East Midlands.

A leading businesswoman who has helped to transform the fortunes of companies across the West Midlands and beyond has urged small, ambitious firms to start thinking globally.

Angela Maxwell, CEO of Acuwomen, is leading a Department for International Trade (DIT) West Midlands workshop to encourage small businesses from the region to start exporting their goods and services.

Kick Start is a free event at the Custard Factory, Digbeth on 4 May, where she will work

Angela Maxwell

Angela Maxwell

with businesses to inspire them to think seriously about new markets.

She said: “We all operate in a global marketplace – there’s no getting away from that – and there are myriad opportunities for every type of business that has the ambition and the desire to invest in exporting. DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign demonstrates just how much a business can benefit from expanding their horizons and I’m pleased to come on board and be part of a campaign to help West Midlands companies. Exporting doesn’t happen overnight but the number of success stories from this region, especially among businesses that didn’t think there was any demand for their offer, is inspirational.”

She said that joining forces with DIT for Kick Start was the perfect opportunity for businesses that are focused solely on the domestic market to future-proof their success.

According to DIT research, 85 per cent of companies said that expanding their global reach led to a level of growth that they said would not have been achievable otherwise.

Angela added: “These statistics speak for themselves: there is a distinct difference between companies working only in the home markets and those who export. Of course, there are issues such as capacity and finance that have to be dealt with but there is a lot of support on offer. It’s also important to be positive; some businesses are put off exporting because they think it is daunting or complex, but it really isn’t. It’s a really interesting way to grow a business and expands your outlook.”

In addition to Angela’s Kick Start programme in Birmingham, international strategy and marketing expert John Harrison from JH Market Strategy will be holding two sessions at the NMC Centre in West Bromwich.

For more details about the DIT Kick Start workshops, or to secure a place, visit http://kickstartevents.eventbrite.com or telephone 0345 222 0159.

Companies interested in breaking into overseas markets and taking advantage of the global appetite for UK goods and services can visit the new online trade hub, great.gov.uk, part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT initiative.

great.gov.uk is a single digital destination for trade and investment, bringing together and connecting UK businesses, international buyers and international investors. Whether businesses are new, occasional or frequent exporters, they will be able to take advantage of the new suite of tools and exclusive deals on fees or commissions with some of the world’s leading online marketplaces.

 

A Shropshire tannery that manufactures leather gardening products is aiming for new markets after winning new clients at a global trade show, thanks to the support from Department for International Trade (DIT) West Midlands.
Bridgnorth-based Bradley’s Tannery, founded by Bradley Burn in 1984, has seen exports grow from just five per cent 20 years ago to 85 per cent today. Bradley credits the recent upsurge in exports to the expert advice and support he received from DIT international trade advisors with helping him to expand his global reach.
Working with the Shropshire DIT team, he secured funding to attend the Ambiente Show in Frankfurt, the world’s biggest consumer goods show, in February 2017. Having already signed up at least a dozen new customers as a result of attending the show he is now following up leads from retailers in new markets overseas.
As National Gardening Week takes place this week and gardeners across the UK begin to tackle their outdoor spaces in earnest, Bradley said he hoped to continue growing his export market.

Bradley’s Tannery is one of a handful of British firms that curries leather to turn into a wide range of goods, such as bags, gloves and hats. Its gardening collection of gloves, secateurs pouches, arm protectors, aprons and tool carriers, is widely sold around the world, with Far East markets including Japan and Taiwan. Germany and Austria account for about 60 per cent of its European sales.
Bradley’s Tannery, which counts British royal houses, Selfridges and Liberty among its customers, prides itself on using only leather from the UK for its goods and employs six people at its Stanley Lane workshop, who handmake all the products.
Bradley said: “Our gardening products sell well overseas because they appreciate the hallmark of quality that comes with handmade British goods, and there’s no doubt that without DIT’s help, we wouldn’t be in the markets we are in today. We’ve been able to attend shows in USA, Canada and Japan, thanks to its financial help.
“As a very small, niche manufacturer, these are huge outlays but you have to be there, so having access to expert help and funding is vital if we are to compete with larger companies. Going to the Ambiente show not only gave us many new leads to pursue, we also signed up new customers, which is great.”
Richard Smith, head of the DIT international trade team in Shropshire, who has advised Bradley’s Tannery for a number of years, said: “It’s great news that Bradley has secured new customers and has other leads to pursue after the trade show in Germany. His is a very small Shropshire company that makes high quality goods for a number of niche markets, so the fact that it is stocked in retail stores around the world is something to be proud of. Our Exporting is GREAT campaign demonstrates to businesses that whatever their size, they can make their mark on the global stage.”
Companies interested in breaking into overseas markets and taking advantage of the global appetite for UK goods and services can visit the new online trade hub, great.gov.uk, part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT initiative.
great.gov.uk is a single digital destination for trade and investment, bringing together and connecting UK businesses, international buyers and international investors. Whether businesses are new, occasional or frequent exporters, they will be able to take advantage of the new suite of tools and exclusive deals on fees or commissions with some of the world’s leading online marketplaces.

Sixty companies from across the West Midlands are at the first stage of exporting to countries across Africa after experts travelled from the continent to offer their advice on trading with the markets there.

Organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) West Midlands, the ‘Winning Business in African Markets’ programme included talks from specialists from Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.

Speakers from Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco join Christine Hamilton (centre), of DIT West Midlands, at the event in Wolverhampton

Speakers from Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco join Christine Hamilton (centre), of DIT West Midlands, at the event in Wolverhampton

Delegates were also able to discuss potential export opportunities via Skype with trade advisers in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa and Ethiopia at the event at the GTG Training Academy in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton.

Dozens of one-to-one meetings also took place as businesses sought advice from DIT’s International Trade Advisers (ITAs) and bilateral and overseas British Chambers of Commerce.

Stefan Szabo, Head of International Trade, Black Country, said: “It was great to see so many businesses from our region actively looking to export their goods and services to countries in Africa. Our Exporting is GREAT and Midlands Engine campaigns are already firing up companies that want to find out more about opportunities overseas and events such as these help us to drive home that message. Africa’s consumer-facing industries are expected to grow by more than £260 billion by 2020 and ‘Brand Britain’ is already held in high regard for its quality, tradition and style. There are fantastic opportunities to be had across Africa and by speaking to the specialists who were at the event, Midlands companies could soon be making the contacts they need to help break into their target markets.”

Tony Burkson, CEO of the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce, which was launched only in September last year, told delegates that the country’s five-year average GDP growth rate is 7.7% – compared with the global average of 2.72%.

He said there is demand for British goods and services in a diverse range of areas from the oil and gas sector to pharmaceutical.

He said: “There are huge opportunities to add value. In construction, new high rises are being built and in renewable energy there is a target to achieve 10% where it is currently 0.01%.”

Oliver Glendenning, sales and marketing director of Stourbridge-based Parry’s Building Supplies, also encouraged those attending to take advantage of the opportunities in the continent.

Parry’s, which manufactures steel pre-cast moulds for the building industry, already exports to 16 countries in east, west and north Africa and the company has used DIT expertise and research to help it access specialists in the right markets.

“Every challenge is an opportunity for business and we’ve been able to trade successfully in Africa,” he told delegates. “I find there are people I work with in UK whom I’ve never met, but my relationships with businesses in Africa are much closer because they want to meet you and build trust that way.”

Any company interested in breaking into overseas markets, and taking advantage of the global appetite for UK goods and services, should visit the new online trade hub, great.gov.uk, part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT initiative.

great.gov.uk is a single digital destination for trade and investment, bringing together and connecting UK businesses, international buyers and international investors. Whether businesses are new, occasional or frequent exporters, they will be able to take advantage of the new suite of tools and exclusive deals on fees or commissions with some of world’s leading online marketplaces.

A former social worker from Birmingham, who launched a line of musical jewellery boxes featuring black ballerinas, is achieving huge exporting success – thanks to Department for International Trade (DIT) experts.

Sharon McBean, who lives in Birmingham, launched Nia Ballerina in August last year and received so many orders from the USA in the run up to Christmas that she had to enlist the help of a fulfilment house in Virginia, USA, to cope with demand.

Sharon McBean

Sharon McBean

After meeting Cheryl Boxall, an International Trade Adviser in DIT’s Birmingham office, at a trade show last year, Sharon has taken advantage of exporting support provided by the Department to ensure she is fully equipped with the necessary resources for overseas trading. DIT support included advice on protecting Nia Ballerina intellectual property, internationalising the website and launching a global e-commerce website.

“The fact that Nia Ballerina has experienced such rapid success, particularly in the USA, demonstrates that she has tapped into a gap in the market. DIT has been helping the company from the very beginning and we have continued to offer support as Sharon looks to expand more strategically into new markets. Issues such as intellectual property are crucial in business and this has been an important part of her export experience so far,” Cheryl said.

Sharon came up with the idea for the jewellery boxes after failing to find one for her ballet-mad five-year-old daughter.

niaballerinaboxes

Nia Ballerina jewellery boxes

Realising there was a business opportunity, she hired an illustrator to design two images for the musical jewellery boxes and ordered black ballerina figurines to go inside them.

Following her initial success, which included selling more than 1000 boxes to US buyers in just a few weeks during the Christmas period, Sharon is now in the process of designing new jewellery boxes and creating new lines to complement them. She has also collaborated with US-based organisation Brown Girls Do Ballet.

Sharon said: “The past few months have been absolutely overwhelming. I never imagined that these jewellery boxes would become so popular so quickly. They have proved a major success in the USA in particular, accounting for about 80% of sales over the Christmas period. I’m looking to see how we can continue growing sales there, building on the success we’ve has thus far. I’m grateful to Cheryl and the team at DIT because without that support I’m not sure I would have been able to prepare my business for overseas trading so quickly. I’ll continue working with DIT and plan to tap into African markets such as Ghana and South Africa next.”

Any company interested in breaking into overseas markets, and taking advantage of the global appetite for UK goods and services, should visit the new online trade hub, great.gov.uk, part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT initiative.

great.gov.uk is a single digital destination for trade and investment, bringing together and connecting UK businesses, international buyers and international investors. Whether businesses are new, occasional or frequent exporters, they will be able to take advantage of a suite of tools and exclusive deals.

Midlands businesses looking to export to countries across the globe have been given a boost with the announcement of dozens of ‘Export Champions’ as part of a programme to

Export Champions pictured with (front row, right) International Trade Minister Mark Garnier, and (left) Ian Harrison, Midlands Director of Exports.

Export Champions pictured with (front row, centre, right) International Trade Minister Mark Garnier, and (left) Ian Harrison, Midlands Director of Exports.

encourage and inspire businesses to export internationally.

Announced at the inaugural Midlands Engine Trade Summit, the ‘Midlands Engine Export Champions Programme’ sees 28 high profile business leaders from across the region offering their expertise and advice to inspire companies to export and support existing exporters looking to expand into new markets.

From vehicle manufacturer Westfield Sportscar in Kingswinford, to textiles design business The SundayGirl Company in Kidderminster, the 28 Export Champions – 13 of whom are based in the West Midlands region – span a wide range of sectors and services. Business leaders from these companies will provide peer to peer support and help others to fulfil their global market potential.

Speaking at the Summit in Birmingham, International Trade Minister Mark Garnier said: “We want to use the momentum of the Midlands Engine to drive this region’s exports to new heights and I am delighted to announce the launch of the Midlands Engine Export Champions Programme. Twenty-eight experienced exporters based in the Midlands will work to inspire others to either export for the first time or to export more. My Department is helping even more companies in the region explore opportunities on the global market and through this Programme local business will truly benefit from a range of expert advice and support.”

Elizabeth Gooch, CEO of Stafford-based eg solutions, a provider of enterprise workforce optimisation solutions, specialising in the back office, said: “I am delighted to be appointed as an Export Champion by the Department for International Trade. I am really proud to fly the flag for British business and I know that our products are well respected throughout the world. It’s a great opportunity to assist other businesses who are interested in expanding. Exporting not only helps businesses grow, it also contributes to the economic well-being of the region – it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to play a part in this initiative.”

Andrew Riley, chairman of Kingswinford-based Mechatherm, which produces equipment for the aluminium and non-ferrous industrial sectors, said he was honoured to be appointed an Export Champion.

“We’ve had a lot of support from UK Export Finance over the years as we’ve sought to find new export markets and being appointed an Export Champion enables me to give something back. I’m looking forward to working with the Midlands Engine to advise and support new exporters,” he added.

The announcement of Mr Riley’s appointment as Export Champion comes just days after the company won a £25 million export contract to manufacture six furnaces and a water-cooling plant in Bahrain.

Over 27,000 businesses across the Midlands Engine exported nearly £40bn worth of products to over 100 countries in 2015 and the Midlands is responsible for 24% of England’s manufacturing output with particular strengths in automotive, motorsport, aerospace and rail.

The creation of the Midlands Engine Export Champions Programme swiftly follows the launch of the government’s Midlands Engine Strategy.

An ambitious strategy to help the Midlands reach its full economic potential, the Strategy has been published today as the Chancellor Philip Hammond visited the region the day after delivering his first Budget.

It includes significant investment in skills, connectivity and local growth, while it sets out how the government plans to drive the region’s huge potential and promote it to the world.

Over 500 delegates attended the Midlands Engine Trade Summit at the Vox Conference Centre where they participated in specialist workshops and heard first-hand the steps they can take to export their goods and services overseas.

In addition to engaging with SMEs and local businesses, the Export Champions will promote the Department for International Trade’s Exporting is GREAT campaign and digital tool great.gov.uk which helps UK businesses break onto overseas markets. This innovative new programme will provide practical advice and support to drive further growth in exports.

The companies who will be flying the flag for international trade in the West Midlands are:

Birmingham

 

Herefordshire

 

Shropshire

 

Staffordshire

 

Warwickshire

 

Worcestershire

An animated cartoon that was created in Worcestershire could be aired across Europe and Asia – 30 years after it narrowly missed out on being commissioned by Fox TV in the USA.

Droitwich-based Corny Capers, the brainchild of brothers Scott and Lee Garrett, have worked with international trade advisers at the Department for International Trade (DIT) West Midlands to find out how to get the cartoon commissioned.

And now the pair is celebrating after going on to secure the services of a French product

Scott and Lee Garrett, creators of Corny Capers

Scott and Lee Garrett, creators of Corny Capers

ion company and explore further options with an Indian investment company.

The brothers first accessed DIT services when they secured grants towards the costs of visiting MIPCOM, the entertainment festival, in Cannes, France, in October last year. While attending the event, they met representatives from Marquis Entertainment to discuss the cartoon, which was first created by their father David more than 30 years ago.

The following month, they travelled to India for a follow-up meeting with a major investment company.

The French company is working with the brothers to raise funds and finish the pilot episodes of Corny Capers and Scott and Lee are working with a top US-based scriptwriter Bill Matheny, whose credits include The Flintstones and Scooby Doo, to develop storylines.

They aim to get the first episodes ready to pitch to TV stations within the next few weeks and the pair are also due to sign a deal with an Indian production company after Nickelodeon India expressed interest in the action-chase comedy.

Naomi Steemson, the international trade adviser in the DIT’s Hereford and Worcester team, has been supporting the brothers, advising them on a range of issues, such as intellectual property rights and helping with referrals to the creative industries team at the British Embassy in Mumbai.

She said: “When businesses think about exporting, they often think about manufactured goods that they can trade, but the Corny Capers story demonstrates that we can support companies across a huge range of sectors. By helping to secure grants so that Scott and Lee could attend those two important TV conferences and advising on a variety of exporting matters, they are now well on their way to realising their 30-year family dream of getting their animation out into the world.”

The brothers’ father first pitched the cartoon, which was then called The Yolkels, in the 1980s to Hanna-Barbera, creators of Yogi Bear, The Flintstones and Scooby Doo. The studio took the concept to Fox TV and executives whittled it down to the last two for commissioning – only to select Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles.

Scott said in the past few years, he and his brother decided to update the cartoon and try once again to break the global market.

He said: “We’re excited to have already signed one production company in France and are on the cusp of signing with another in India, all thanks to the support from DIT, which supported us so we could attend the two conferences last year. We really hope that Corny Capers will be aired to audiences to a global audience in the next two years.”

Any company interested in breaking into overseas markets, and taking advantage of the global appetite for UK goods and services, should visit the new online trade hub, great.gov.uk, part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT initiative.

great.gov.uk is a single digital destination for trade and investment, bringing together and connecting UK businesses, international buyers and international investors. Whether businesses are new, occasional or frequent exporters, they will be able to take advantage of the new suite of tools and exclusive deals on fees or commissions with some of world’s leading online marketplaces.

West Midlands producers of beers, ciders and spirits could be raising a toast to exporting success if they take part in a special event with buyers from East Asia and Central Europe.

The Selling Beer, Cider and Spirits into East Asia and Central Europe event on Tuesday, 7 March, will see four international buyers covering China, Hong Kong, Japan and six central European countries looking for new products to introduce to their markets.

Pictured (left to right): Paris Calder (International Trade Apprentice), Ajay Desai (CW Chamber), Charles Murray (UK to Asia Ltd), Steve Townsley (CW Chamber Training), Nick Hansen (UK to Asia Ltd).

Pictured (left to right): Paris Calder (International Trade Apprentice), Ajay Desai (CW Chamber), Charles Murray (UK to Asia Ltd), Steve Townsley (CW Chamber Training), Nick Hansen (UK to Asia Ltd).

The free, day-long event, which is being held in Coventry, is being organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT) West Midlands and is being delivered as part of the SME International Growth Project (IGP), which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Ajay Desai, head of the international trade team in Coventry and Warwickshire, said he was keen for drinks manufacturers across the region to be part of an exporting success story. Between January and October last year (2016), the UK beer export market alone rose to £479 million from £413 million the previous year, while over the same period UK gin exports rose 11% to £392 million.

He said: “British beers, ciders and spirits are in high demand across the world and there are high-quality products being created and manufactured in the region, which should be enjoyed by people across the world. This event offers the perfect opportunity for drinks manufacturers to explore the opportunities in these thriving markets.

“You only have to look at the great.gov.uk portal to see that buyers from as far away as China and New Zealand are looking to import British-made drinks. With our support, businesses can be a global success.”

Attending the event will be Hong Kong-based The Beer Bay, which is planning to increase its portfolio of British beers by one third.

Also looking for Midlands makers will be buyers from Japan’s Inn Beers Co Ltd, which has had a show pub in central Tokyo for the past 20 years and regularly hosts tastings for new beers and ciders.

China’s Yao Lu Trading Ltd, which specialises in importing British cider to the Chinese market, will also be there in the hope of finding new suppliers.

Cider, beer and spirits makers from the West Midlands wanting to target Central Europe will be able to speak to Marek Schejbal, an Anglo-Polish consultant to the British Polish Chamber of Commerce in Warsaw who runs the highly successful Taste of Britain market entry programme for UK food and drink suppliers. He is about to launch a new e-commerce trading platform in partnership with the British Polish Chamber of Commerce for food and drink suppliers including alcohol (bonded) products, servicing initially Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

Attendees will be able to meet with international trade experts who can support businesses on e-commerce, routes to market, finance, doing business in Europe, and communication and culture overseas. One-to-one meetings can also be booked on a first come, first served basis.

DIT Midlands offers businesses in the region a wide range of support packages and programme to help them break into overseas markets. Any company interested in starting to export or that wants to grow their exports, should visit the new online trade hub, great.gov.uk, part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT initiative.

nt at the Ansty Club, Grove Road, and to book your free ticket, visit https://beerciderspirits.eventbrite.co.uk, email WMENQUIRIES@mobile.trade.gov.uk, or telephone 0121 607 1751.