Wales is set to make a flavourful mark at Gulfood 2024, one of the world’s largest food and drink exhibitions, taking place in Dubai next month, with a delegation of companies gearing up to exhibit their high quality products on the global stage.
Gulfood 2024 is a five-day event that takes place from 19-23 February 2023 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It is set to host a record 5500+ exhibitors from over 127 countries, unveiling new business opportunities, meet with suppliers, sample new food products, and assist with solutions to new and evolving global challenges.
Supported by the Welsh Government, twelve companies from across the industry will be attending under the Cymru Wales banner, all looking to open new export markets.
Welsh food and drink exports to non-EU countries were worth £203m in 2022, a large increase from £176m in 2021. This is also a significant increase over the longer term, increasing by £58m since 2018.
Wales has a long association with Gulfood, which has helped promote a variety of Welsh food and drink products to the wider region and has been a key target of growth for the industry. Exports to the UAE alone were worth £13m in 2022, increasing by £9.6m since 2016. The UAE had the highest year on year increase for a non-EU market from 2021 to 2022. Meanwhile, neighbouring Saudi Arabia imported some £21m worth of Welsh produce in 2022, a growth of £16.8m since 2016.
Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths, said
“Welsh food and drink is amongst the best in the world and Gulfood presents an important opportunity to showcase our high quality products to potential customers from around the globe. Exports from the sector in Wales hit a record high in 2022 and we want to see it continue to grow, helping deliver economic growth and create jobs.
“Welsh food and drink exports play a vital role in promoting our unique culture and heritage. Each product exported is a testament to the quality, innovation, and dedication of our Welsh producers. It's an opportunity to tell the story of Wales and its rich traditions. I wish every business heading to Gulfood in Dubai a very successful event.”
The Welsh companies exhibiting at the exhibition includes Dairy Partners Limited, Castle Dairies, Golden Hooves, Daioni Organic and Rachel’s Organic Dairy in the Dairy Hall (Stand No: A2-24), Princes Limited, Mornflake Mighty Oats, Dundeis UK Ltd and Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales in the International Hall (stand number S1-B22). The Anglesey Sea Salt company/Halen Môn, Sims Food Ltd (SamosaCo) and Tŷ Nant Water are also attending Gulfood as part of the export visit.
Princes Limited, a leading food and drink group, is eager to present their range of products at the event. Ollie Evans, International & National Sales Manager at Princes Limited said,
“We are proud to be part of the Welsh delegation exhibiting at Gulfood. Our main desire for attending is to strengthen our relationship in the region with retailers we currently trade with, and to explore potential growth opportunities.
“Princes is committed to delivering high-quality, innovative food and drink products, and we look forward to engaging with industry professionals, buyers, and consumers from around the world.”
Mornflakes Oats, known for their premium oat products, is set to highlight the nutritional benefits and sustainable practices that distinguishes their brand.
Richard Jones, Retail Export Manager at Mornflakes Oats, commented,
“We are delighted to return to Gulfood, building on the success of our previous attendance. This event provides a fantastic platform for us to connect with distributors and retailers and we are eager to leverage this opportunity to expand our presence and secure new listings across the UAE.
“In terms of an exciting development for us, we are thrilled to announce the upcoming launch of our new quirky British oats packaging. This innovative packaging not only showcases our commitment to quality but also marks a significant milestone for us – our 350th anniversary as oat millers. We believe the distinctive packaging will resonate with consumers and further enhance the appeal of our products.”
First Milk, a cooperative of British dairy farmers, is set to feature its Golden Hooves brand at Gulfood, showcasing the finest dairy products from Wales.
Leona McDonald, Business Unit Director at First Milk, expressed their excitement, saying,
“We’re thrilled to be able to share our deliciously regenerative British cheddars at Gulfood for the first time this year. What a perfect way to round off our first, exciting year! The UK market is loving our story and all the amazing actions being taken by our 700 dairy farmers, spread right across the UK (as well as the award-winning cheese of course!) which makes us even more excited about bringing it to Gulfood.
“We’re sure that we will meet with like-minded distributors and retailers who share our commitment to leaving the world in a better place, eating delicious cheese and creating meaningful partnerships in the global export market.”
For more information on how the Welsh Government can assist your business with exporting please visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/export/