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Export conference was a huge hit with delegates

“One of the best conferences I have attended,” was how one of the delegates described The Future for International Trade conference organised jointly by BHETA, Gardenex and PetQuip on 12th March.

A mix of top-level speakers from the worlds of Westminster politics, international economic forecasting, international law and trade compliance, worldwide retail trends and digital platforms for export informed and entertained around 100 delegates from supplier companies in the home, garden and pet industries.  There were also four riveting case studies from home, garden and pet outlining real-life experiences and learnings in the field of exporting to overseas buyers.

The presentations covered every aspect of exporting, from mega trends in retailing worldwide to finding new and developing export markets and how to ease the path of exporting in the post-Brexit era. Trade experts in all aspects of exporting were also on hand throughout the day to answer questions on international trading.

The event, which was sponsored by Glee and took place at the Stratford Manor Hotel in Warwickshire kicked off with a unique and lively peek into the BREXIT negotiations and the real state of play between the Westminster political parties from John Arnold from UK Government Lobbying company, Northern Universal. His witty and often revelatory insights really set the tone for the day.

Presentations followed from Tim Hiscock of Strong & Herd on export procedures and compliance, Lord Ivo Darnley of Rathbones on the worldwide economic situation, Richard Tauwhare of Dechert Solicitors on the legalities of international trade and Stefano Botter of Euromonitor International on retail megatrends.  Each one was a fascinating and uncomplicated assessment of the opportunities and pitfalls, presented with style and expertise.   Even the apparently more challenging subjects were communicated clearly and with humour. 

The afternoon session comprised case studies and Q&A with experienced and successful exporters WHAM (WhatMore UK), Spear & Jackson, VegTrug and Group 55, followed by an inspirational introduction to digital marketing for export from Sarah Carroll of GrowGlobal.  After the event, Tony Grimshaw OBE of WhatMore UK, who was part of the case study panel commented, “Over the years, I have been to and involved in a lot of these events and this was by far the best… everyone I spoke with not only enjoyed the event but went away wiser and inspired.”

BHETA Executive Director, Will Jones, who chairs BHETA’s Export Committee concluded, “This was a very varied and stimulating agenda presented by excellent speakers to a lively gathering of delegates. The event not only delivered its serious purpose to help develop and expand international sales but was also inspirational and thoroughly enjoyable.” 

Director General of Gardenex and PetQuip, Amanda Sizer Barrett said: “Our aim in organising the conference was to assure businesses that – regardless of the outcome of the protracted discussions on our country’s departure from the European Union – there is a raft of expert help and guidance available through our trade associations and associate service providers.”

For more information contact the Member Services Team on 0121 237 1130.

Source: BHETA, April 2019

For more information, contact Kate Newton at Brookes & Co, 01889 598600,

Editor’s Notes

  • Internationally recognised Gardenex is the UK’s Federation of Garden & Leisure Manufacturers. Its role is to help and support UK suppliers to export around the world, and to persuade international trade buyers to source British gardening, leisure and pet products plus commercial horticulture equipment and plants.
  • Founded in 1961 as a not-for-profit trade association, the Federation now delivers practical and successful international business services to members of its three associations: Gardenex, PetQuip and the Commercial Horticultural Association. The Federation has a packed calendar of events and activities annually and delivers exclusive sector-specific research and international sales leads to its members.
  • Its dedicated and experienced team works closely with the UK government’s Department for International Trade and is a Trade Challenge Partner accredited by government to the highest standard to deliver practical, cost effective and successful initiatives and services to encourage and expand our country’s exports.
  • Formed in 1958, BHETA is the leading UK trade association for manufacturers, suppliers and distributors in the home enhancement market, including home improvement (DIY), garden, housewares and small electricals.  BHETA has over 320 members, representing £15.5 billion at retail sales and 15,000 employees. It too is a Trade Challenge Partner of the DIT to assist and develop the international and export aspirations of its members.

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