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Food and drink on business fair menu.

THE region's host of food and drink companies will get the chance to meet buyers from leading national retailers at the North East Regional Business Fair next month.

The event, which is backed by The Journal, aims to match buyers with suppliers and develop real opportunities for firms battling to increase sales in the recession.

Organiser Business Link says there will be more than 100 representatives from companies looking for supplies from a wide range of sectors including food and drinks. Among those companies is grocery chain Booths, which was founded in 1847 and now has 26 stores across the North.

Philip Godwin, buyer for Booths, said: "Booths has always been passionate about sourcing locally produced food and drink. Meet the Buyers provides us with an excellent opportunity to find out what the producers in the North East have to offer.

"In particular, I am hoping to meet with high quality artisan suppliers to provide products for our new Ripon store. The Booths business model allows me to deal with some suppliers direct and bring a compelling selection of locally sourced goods into store. I am looking forward to what I am sure will be a busy and fruitful event."

The North East England Food & Drink Group (NEEFDG) will also be present at the event and will focus on helping to facilitate meetings between local producers and buyers.

Sandy Duncan, lead programme manager for NEEFDG, said: "These are challenging times for businesses in all sectors and Meet the Buyers is very timely. It offers food and drink producers in the region a valuable opportunity to develop relationships with influential buyers and potentially build crucial business.

"The team from the North East England Food & Drink Group will work with Business Link to help the region's producers make the most of their time at the event.

"Between us, our two organisations have a good understanding of the business needs of both suppliers and buyers, and my team will help Business Link as they work hard to 'match-make' and facilitate really productive meetings for all concerned."

Other sectors represented include automotive, chemicals and processing, commercial creative, defence and marine, energy, healthcare, and knowledge intensive business services.

The event at Newcastle Racecourse and Conference Centre on February 25 and 26 will also feature a support and advice zone, bringing together a range of organisations to offer guidance to businesses.

The fair is completed by a business service exhibition, which will feature more than 50 regional companies showcasing new ideas.

To register at the North East Regional Business Fair, or for more information, visit, email or call (0191) 281-5777.


FOOD FORETHOUGHT Programme manager Sandy Duncan.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2009
Next Article:Family firm finds itself in demand.

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