Welsh companies make China visit to promote Welsh goods

Two Welsh food companies arrive in China today as part of the biggest ever British food delegation to the country.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is leading the trip, which could be worth around £1 billion to the British economy.

Caerphilly beer producers Celt Experience and Trioni Milk in Pembrokeshire are both hoping to expand on their foreign exports.

Celt Experience says its exports are already up from 5 to 20% this year and worth £200,000. Spokesman Tom Newman says the trip is an opportunity to push further.

China is consuming significantly more Western-style milk, cheese, and yogurt, and Britain can help supply that demand.

Trioni Milk is a third generation organic dairy farm on 2,000 acres at Boncath, Pembrokeshire and already exports to the Middle East and India.

It says the brand is important in China as it is seen as rural, green and Welsh, an image which is important to convince Chinese that it is "clean".

The UK currently imports £1.2 billion more dairy produce than it exports, meaning there is huge potential for growth at home and abroad.

The delegation will this week meet dairy companies, trade associations, industry experts and retailers in Shanghai to begin developing trade with the world's biggest grocery market.

"From chocolate to cheddar, China's population is getting a taste for dairy, and Britain's world-class food industry can supply that demand. I'll be helping British businesses grab the opportunity with both hands, helping our country compete and thrive in the global race."

– Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP