During his tour of the show he said: “Expo is a great opportunity for the industry to show off its wares. It’s important to raise the profile of British food all over the world.”
Lord Whitty spent nearly two hours visiting the regional food and drink producers who were exhibiting at the four-day show.
Exhibition director Andrew Reed, from William Reed Exhibitions, said he was delighted with how Expo had gone. “We are well up on the previous show in terms of quantity and quality. I fully expect visitor numbers to be up by at least 10%. Many exhibitors who were at Food and Drink for the first time are now complete converts. Most importantly, the amount of buying that went on has been fantastic.”
The show was attended by Ireland’s agriculture minister, Joe Walsh, who said he was “delighted” to see a strong contingent of Irish exhibitors at this year’s Expo.
“This show is extremely
important for Ireland because we export so much of the food we produce to the UK, and it is far and away our best market.
“However, the UK market is also very competitive which makes our presence here all the more essential.”
There was a very positive atmosphere around Expo with a strong contingent of buyers on hand to do business with a variety of regional and international producers.
The vast majority of exhibitors said they were pleased with the way things went. So much so, in fact, that about 30% of the space for the next show, in 2006, has already been booked up.
Reed added: “Expo has a unique atmosphere and the feedback from exhibitors has been exremely positive.”