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Tyne Bank Brewery MD is Sweden bound for UKTI fact finding trip

Tyne-BankTYNE Bank Brewery’s Julia Austin is to head to Sweden as part of a UK Trade and Investment “fact finding” mission.

The trip – from Wednesday September 25 to Friday 27 – will see beery businesses shown how the Scandinavian drinks sector works, meet distributors, attend the Stockholm Beer and Whisky trade show and speak to a purchaser who works for Systenbolaget, the Swedish state run alcohol selling monopoly.

“Sweden is a simple market for export because you only deal with one company which then sells the alcohol within the country,” said Julia, who’s Byker-based 20-barrel brewery was founded in 2011.

“So for our first look at exporting it seemed quite a good place to start – plus the UKTI is offering a lot of support.

“They’ve given us contacts for about 12 different importers and we’ve meetings arranged and a few interested parties.

“And hopefully we will make good contacts for the future – one person used to work with Scottish and Newcastle, so she already has experience of beer from the North East, and hopefully we can build on that.

“And once we’ve had a taste of export, we can see about developing from there.”

According to the British Embassy in Stockholm the trip – the second time the government agency has run such a scheme this year – also includes representatives of breweries like Atlantic, from Newquay in Cornwall, Stringers, from Ulverston in Cumbria, and Ilkley, from West Yorkshire.

A spokesman for UKTI said trading links between Britain and Sweden go back centuries and remain strong, and this is just the latest way of hopefully keeping that relationship going.

“In 2012, Sweden was the UK’s thirteen largest export market and the UK is Sweden’s fourth largest supplier of both goods and services,” she said.

“Although the volume of UK exports to Sweden has dropped since 2008 – Thought figures from key competitors, such as Germany and France follow the same trend – the UK’s share of total Swedish imports remains at 6.5%.”

Major UK exports to Sweden include road vehicles, petroleum products, medical and pharmaceutical products, while Britain imports paper, board and pulp, telecommunications equipment, pharmaceutical, road vehicles, fuel, wood, iron and steel and general industrial machinery from the Scandinavian nation.

Tyne Bank Brewery managing director Julia Austin holding an owl
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