with a taste of wales Wales is making a bigger splash than usual at Anuga, bringing 15 companies to the show ­ nine more than attended the 1999 event ­ under the auspices of the Welsh Development Agency. Exhibitors will feature the WDA's new stand livery Wales ­ the True Taste' which forms part of its exhibitions programme to raise the country's profile internationally and boost exports. WDA agri-food director Wynfford James says attendance at international exhibitions has proved successful at gaining export business. "At Alimentaria in Barcelona, Welsh companies won £1.25m in business." Exhibitors will certainly be featuring interesting products. The Welsh Whisky Co will show its new whisky, the first to be distilled in Wales for 100 years and which will be ready for sale in August 2003. The company is looking for advance export orders for the whisky and for its Brecon Premium Vodka, Brecon Dry Gin and Merlyn Cream Liqueur which won significant listings following their debut at IFE this year. A new cranberry-based clear spirit with the working name of Celtic Spirit is being featured by the Celtic Spirit Co, along with its traditional Welsh liqueurs. "We're taking samples of the new product to Anuga to see how it's received," says owner Ben Jones. The Llanllyr Water Co will be looking for new outlets for its premium glass and PET bottled water brands, llanllyr Source and 1180, both drawn from sources in west Wales and noted for the excellence of their pack designs. South Caernarfon Creameries, Wales' only farmer-owned dairy co-operative, is looking to match the £500,000 new business it won for regional cheeses at the recent New York Fancy Food Fair. It will give pride of place to its vintage, mature and mild Cheddar brands and other regional varieties. The diversity of Welsh cheese will be on show at the Cheesemakers' Association Wales's stand, whose 40 speciality and mainstream producers make over 200 different types from cows, ewes, goats and organic milk. Taking its first step into the export market will be Parsons Pickles which has focused entirely on the UK market since it was founded in 1948. It will be tempting tastebuds with a range of traditional bottled pickles and shellfish, as well as canned cockles and mussels that don't require vinegar, allowing the delicate flavour of the products to shine through. Premium, ambient sauces will be showcased by Blindings. Its range includes Thai lime & ginger, piquant tomato & basil, chilli & coconut, as well as lobster bisque and Welsh rarebit cheese spread. Though unable to exhibit because of the meat export ban following foot and mouth disease, Welsh Lamb & Beef Promotions will have a modest presence at Anuga to maintain contacts with European markets. Its md Don Thomas says: "It's important to remind European customers of the excellence of our products and to discuss with them our strategies to rebuild markets and our commitment to resume the export trade at the earliest opportunity. We are confident our past successes in Europe can be recovered." {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}