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Food and drink

Gardener and Green Limited savours shortlisting success in national export competition  

Gardener and Green Limited, from Frome in Somerset, are developing a route to the Chinese market for local artisan cheese producers, is one of eight SMEs in the food and drink sector to make the finals of Open to Export’s high-profile Action Plan Showcase Competition.  

Gardener and Green Limited will outline its vision for international business growth to a panel of expert judges at The International Food & Drink event at ExCel on March 20 at the Department for International Trade (DIT) Export Hub from 2pm. The winner will be announced at a prestigious FCO reception at The Locarno Suite in the evening.

Mark Garnier will present the winner will receive £3k cash funding courtesy of SDL Managed Translation and Heathrow Airports, a £3k website package from Yell and two free places on an Institute of Export & International Trade public training course worth £700.

Gardener and Green Limited and fellow finalists Artisan Bread Ltd, First Chop Brewing Arm Ltd, Heavenly Tasty Organics Baby & Toddler Snacks, Ormos Foods, Popcorn Shed Ltd, The Lakes Distillery, SWIG Flasks will present the Export Action Plans they created through the innovative digital business planning tool devised by Open to Export - the government funded digital route to boost the UK’s SME exports.

The tool is part of a website dedicated to helping new and inexperienced businesses prepare to sell internationally by giving them unlimited free access to information, support and advice.

Helping companies to make decisions along each step of their exporting journey - from selecting a market to delivering products or services to new customers – it provides additional wide-ranging support. Once complete, it produces a report in an easy to read format, which is perfect for sharing with international trade advisers or banks to better inform export planning conversations.

Each of the shortlisted companies will benefit from a year’s free small business membership with the Institute of Export & International Trade and a web translation voucher from SDL Managed Translation.

Derek Stride: “We’re over the moon to reach the finals of this prestigious competition. Our export vision is to develop a route into the ever expanding Chinese market for locally produced artisan cheese. Trading globally presents a wealth of opportunities and the Export Action Plan has been an excellent and easy resource to get us started.”

Sponsored by the DIT, Heathrow Airports and SDL Managed Translation, the judging panel comprises Lesley Batchelor OBE – CEO of Open to Export and Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade, Julian Hucker – entrepreneur and Chairman of Open to Export, Tony Lamb, Director of the Department for International Trade, Robert Gordy, CEO of SDL Managed Translation, Ben Crowley, Head of Food and Beverage for Heathrow Airports and Nicola Thomas, Director, FDEA.

Lesley Batchelor said: “We are committed to helping inexperienced exporters to broaden their horizons and this includes regular Export Action Plan competitions to encourage as many small businesses as possible to reap the benefits of this terrific tool as well as the chance to win prizes of up to £7k. This will ultimately help them achieve their international trade goals.”

For more information visit www.opentoexport.com and http://opentoexport.com/info/export-action-plan-competition/ for information and a video of one of our previous competitions.