A selection the UK’s fast growth food companies recently visited Chile and Argentina for a week-long trade mission organised by Santander UK.

The firms, the majority from Cambridge and Anglia, undertook a series of exclusive meetings with buyers and distributors and attended events with a view to exporting to Chile, the UK’s second-largest export destination in Latin America, and Argentina, which is focussed on improving trade relationships and removing barriers to increase exports and imports.

The companies that attended the trip were Christies International, Cocoda Ltd, Elgood & Sons Ltd, G’s Fresh Ltd, Haymans of London, Ilec Ltd, JCS Hi-Torque Ltd, Pasta Foods Ltd and Teagle Machinery Ltd. The initiative is part of Santander UK’s regular series of international trade missions across a range of UK sectors that are aimed at helping businesses export and capitalise on trade opportunities.

While in Chile and Argentina, the firms attended 80 tailored one-to-one meetings with large retailers including Jumbo and Walmart, buyers, well-respected distributors and international partners. They also attended large scale networking events supported by The British Chile Chamber of Commerce and Department for International Trade Buenos Aires, which showcased the best of British food, drink and manufacturing.

Chile has one of the largest portfolios of Free Trade Agreements in the world and is the UK’s second largest export destination in Latin America largely, thanks to the lack of tariffs on UK products. Investment opportunities also exist in wholesale, retail, education, agriculture, construction and energy.

Argentina is currently removing trade barriers to increase exports and imports under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. There is high demand for imported luxury consumer goods and food and drink.

Managing director of major confectionery business Cocoda, David Hill, said: “I have been on several trade missions over the years. This was by far the very best organised with excellent pre-mission briefing, highly qualified meetings and the first class levels of support throughout. As a result, we have already seen some initial interest, which we hope will lead to successful partnerships and trade opportunities in Latin America.”

UK firms interested in intending future trade missions should visit www.santandercb.co.uk or contact international@santander.co.uk.