The politician charged by the Welsh national assembly with boosting Wales' image on the international stage flew into New York this week with a massive boost of confidence for the principality's food and drink producers. Mike German, newly appointed deputy first minister and minister for rural development and Wales abroad, told Welsh exhibitors: "You have built a platform with quality produce. My job is to help even more firms from Wales overcome the exporting hurdles." He tole The Grocer: "Everyone knows about products from England, Scotland and Ireland, but, despite the WDS's sterling efforts in recent years, our food and drink has not had as much exposure. We have a strong message to get across to world buyers. However, although the US is potentially our biggest market, it is also likely to be our toughest." During his trip German was lobbied by representatives of the Welsh lamb industry who are seeking access to US and Canadian markets. He also met Food from Britain officials to talk about ongoing export support initiatives. German said: "We are doing well, but we must be a bit smarter." {{NEWS }}