A virtual meet the buyer event – bringing together buyers from up to seven countries – is being staged to help Marches food and drink companies break into new markets.

The all-day March 24 event will feature buyers from the Czech Republic, Belgium, Mexico, Spain, Italy and France – with officials from Argentina also likely to take part. Organisers say it will give producers an exclusive shop window to showcase their products.

It has been organised by David Caine, the new specialist food and drink adviser appointed to cover the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership region and Worcestershire, who works with Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber along with the Department for International Trade (DIT).

David said the event – for which registration was essential – was a major opportunity for the sector to develop new markets both in Europe and further afield.

“The Department for International Trade (DIT) as part of the Marches Food and Drink Cluster is bringing together a network of trusted buyers to meet virtually with food and drink producers based in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

“Registered businesses will be able to engage with buyers interested in their products at a time slot which suits both parties. Representatives from supermarkets, agents and distributors will meet with companies on the day for what promises to be an action-packed event where new, prosperous relationships will be made.”

David said a pre-event market briefing and a virtual pitching workshop would also take place before the event to make sure companies could make the most of the opportunity.

“This is an exclusive opportunity for sellers to showcase their products, and to build their brand’s reputation in some great overseas markets, by connecting with a range of overseas buyers who are all hungry to buy quality British produce.”

Opportunities include convenience foods, alcohol/spirits/lager/cider, alcohol-free drinks, vegan products, snacks, health foods, ethnic foods, organic products and eco-friendly food and drink.

Meetings will take place between 9am and 5.30pm and buyers will be selecting the UK sellers that they wish to meet with via a shortlist provided by the DIT team.

To find out more and register for the event click HERE

About the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership

  • The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is driving accelerated economic growth through investment in innovation, higher level skills, housing and business sites across the region.
  • The Marches region, which includes Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, is a dynamic business region where entrepreneurs flourish alongside global players. Covering 2,300 sq miles and with a growing population of 684,300, it is home to 30,775 businesses and a £14.3 billion economy.
  • Bordered by the West Midlands to the east and Wales to the west, the Marches' key centres of population and employment are the city of Hereford and thriving towns of Shrewsbury and Telford. A network of 25 smaller market towns and a large rural area make up the rest of the settlement mix – with the Marches recognised as being one of the most enterprising regions in the UK
  • High profile businesses which have chosen to base operations here include BAE Defence Systems; GKN; Westons Cider; Grainger & Worrall; Stadco; Caterpillar; Mϋller Dairy UK, Doncasters Aerospace, Denso, Capgemini, Ricoh, Cargill, Heineken, Grocontinental, McConnels, Kerry Ingredients, Special Metals, Kingspan and Makita
  • The Marches is also home to centres of excellence and institutions which promote and foster the transfer of knowledge including Harper Adams University and its National Centre for Precision Farming, University Centre Shrewsbury, the University of Wolverhampton campus and e-innovation centre at Priorslee, NMITE, New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering, and Food Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury
  • The designated Enterprise Zone of the Marches LEP is in Hereford, at Skylon Park. It is the only Enterprise Zone in England with a unique defence and security sector focus, drawing on the city's heritage as the home of the SAS
  • The LEP area is home to some iconic places of interest. The Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, the Shropshire Hills and the Wye Valley Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Offa’s Dyke, the rivers Severn and Wye, and places of national renown including Ludlow and Ross-on-Wye make it a highly popular place to both visit and relocate to
  • The Marches has a diverse business base and is recognised for its sector strength in advanced manufacturing and engineering; agri-food and drink; automotive and defence & security
  • Business support in the Marches is offered via the Marches Growth Hub, a business-friendly website at marchesgrowthhub.co.uk and helpline on Freephone 0800 998 1098 developed by the LEP
  • You can learn more about the Marches LEP at marcheslep.org.uk and contact the LEP by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.