A record number of international exhibitors will provide a major show attraction where more than 200 producers offer an insight into their national food and drink cultures

It may be located in the centre of the UK, but Food and Drink Expo 2004 is set to have a real international flavour, with exhibitors and visitors from around the globe. This year’s event has attracted more international exhibitors than ever before, representing over 30 countries, and the centrally-located international pavilions are bound to be a major draw with new and innovative products to attract buyers.

This dedicated international arena will play host to more than 200 producers who will be displaying a diverse range of food and beverage products.

There will also be companies from countries that are making a comeback on a national scale after several years away, including Denmark, Mexico and Australia.

The Danish pavilion is hosted by the Danish Trade Commission and is aimed at showcasing the variety that Danish food culture embraces, not just the obvious items such as bacon and pastries.

Among others on the stand are herring marinader Lykkeberg, smoked and cured meats producer Harry's, salamis, pâtés and other delicatessen food specialist Farre, and Appetit, which produces unprepared and prepared garlic and chilli products. Trade commissioner Peter Moerk says: “Denmark as a food nation is generally unknown beyond bacon and pastries. We see this show as an excellent opportunity to introduce the UK to other Danish food specialities.”

One of the most colourful stands is likely to be the Mexican pavilion. Well known beverages on display include beers from Corona, as well as tequila and mescal.

Authentic ready meals and sauces from Doña Maria will be making an appearance here, along with herbs and spices from Natural Alimenticia and fresh products such as table grapes.

Interested buyers will be able to consult representatives from the London office of Bancomext, which operates as the Mexican Trade Commission.

The Canadian High Commission in London is promoting producers from its homeland for the first time at Expo this year. High Commission staff will be on hand to answer any questions on sourcing manufacturers and suppliers of Canadian products. There will also be representatives from the Alberta and Quebec provincial governments, promoting what their individual provinces have to offer.

There will be six companies displaying their produce in the Canadian pavilion including Maison Bergevin, a family business from Quebec that offers dry or processed cranberries as an ingredient, and Naturally Homegrown Foods, a maker of hand-cooked and old-fashioned potato chips from British Columbia.