Scottish companies en route to Europe's largest market
The latest phase of the new food EU-funded export programme - Access 6 - was officially launched in Germany last week, with Scottish based food & drink companies benefiting from the wide-ranging opportunities it presents.
At present two Scottish companies – Galloway Lodge Preserves and Islay Ales together with another five companies from the border regions of Ireland and Northern Ireland will participate in the German cluster. Each company has been selected for their suitability to the German food retail and food service sectors and their market ambition to grow their sales in this market.
Bringing together Scotland Food & Drink, Northern Ireland Food & Drink and Irish Exporter's Association, the ground breaking Access 6 programme aims to increase export sales by £19million across 90 regional food and drink manufacturers over the next three years. This innovative cross-border programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the INTERREG IVA programme and plans to create an additional 90 new jobs within the participating businesses, and up-skill a further 400 SMEs across the regions.
Launched in the British Embassy in Berlin, this important new phase of Access 6 also marked the appointment of Green Seed Germany, the international food marketing consultancy, which will act as official mentor to the companies within the German cluster.
Over the next 18 months, Green Seed's team of experts will work in close partnership with the individual companies to assess, advise and prepare them for the launch of their brands to Germany's diverse retail and food service sector which is worth approximately £236billion in sales. Speaking at the launch event, which coincided with a major food and drink trade reception hosted by the British Embassy.
Amanda Brown, Industry Development Director for Scotland Food & Drink said: "This marks the start of an exciting new phase for Access 6. The Green Seed’s team's expertise and know-how will ensure each of the companies is equipped with the knowledge, tools and confidence to capitalise on this diverse and expanding market. As Europe's largest, with 82m consumers and growth of 3% in 2012 alone, the opportunities for exporting are exceptional.”
Nicole Günther, Senior Consultant of Green Seed Germany, commented: “The timing is good for this project as the German market, the largest in Europe, has in recent years opened to new, innovative and international companies and products. In parallel, the food retail trade has shown an increase in gourmet food & drink categories with a polarisation resulting in growth at the premium end of the market and at the value-line lower end. In total, about a third of food & drink consumed in Germany is imported.”
Immediately following the launch the companies in the German cluster will embark on a range of audits, training modules and study tours, led by Green Seed, with the aim of enhancing their competitive advantage. The next crucial stage will involve meeting with potential channel partners which will include retailers and food service providers, with the long term goal of securing product listings.
Beyond Germany, additional clusters will also target France, Benelux, UK, Scandinavia and North America, offering further opportunities to other small and medium sized food and drink companies across Access 6's focus regions.
To sign up to Access 6 or if you could like to receive further information about the programme please contact Will Shaw or Julia Lockerbie on 0131 335 0956 / firstname.lastname@example.org / Julia.email@example.com.