Marches export event hailed a huge success

March 31, 2021

A special event to help food and drink producers across the Marches reach new international markets has been hailed a huge success.

David Caine headshot
David Caine

More than 50 companies took part in the Meet the Buyer event on March 24 with 20 separate countries represented at the virtual showcase.

It was organised by David Caine, the specialist food and drink adviser appointed to cover the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership region and Worcestershire, who works with Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber along with the Department for International Trade (DIT).

David said 51 companies had registered for the event, with 40 buyers from 20 countries being shown some of the finest food and drink produce from the region. More than 140 meetings had taken place between producers and buyers as a direct result of the event.

“We were very pleased both with the quality and quantity of the produce we were able to showcase at what was a really fantastic event,” said David.

“The feedback we have received both from producers from this area and the buyers from all over the world has been highly positive and we are confident that profitable new relationships have been formed.

“International export markets are hugely important to the food and drink sector and we want to encourage as many producers as possible across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire to break into overseas sales.”

David said the event had also been attended by eight separate DIT advisers based in overseas countries.

“With our network of contacts and advisers all over the world, DIT can help any company meet its export ambitions and open up new markets,” he added.

David has been working across the Marches LEP area to help provide specialist support to smaller, new and novice exporters to help them develop new markets.

He has also established a new cluster group to bring together small and large food and drink businesses in a Marches-wide network so that companies can work with each other and with one local on-the-ground contact.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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