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New Business Markets: Cornwall

Volume 621: debated on Thursday 9 February 2017

6. What steps his Department is taking to open new markets to businesses in Cornwall in (a) the food and drink and (b) other sectors. (908691)

The south-west FoodEx directory connects food and drink companies in Cornwall with buyers across the world. Local companies can also benefit from FoodEx workshops. Cornish companies in all sectors can access the full range of Department for International Trade services. We have launched the GREAT.gov.uk website, and our experienced international trade advisers are supporting new Cornish exporters to step into the global marketplace and helping experienced exporters compete in high-growth markets.

In west Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, a flurry of businesses have been producing food, drink and other goods. There is no doubt about the quality of their produce, but the reality is that very few of those products—food and drink—go beyond Cornish borders, let alone overseas. Will the Minister accept an invitation to meet these producers and help them to expand their markets?

As my hon. Friend knows, my family has roots in Cornwall that go back over 100 years, which I think means that we are now no longer incomers. The Secretary of State, of course, is a south-west MP and I believe he has met Cornish producers, and I am a frequent visitor to the extraordinary county that produces such fabulous produce. At the very first opportunity, I will go with my hon. Friend to meet his constituents and, indeed, people across the whole of Cornwall to explore ways in which we can push this fantastic county’s product.