London/Mumbai, Jan 17 (PTI) A British delegation of 13 food and beverages companies has embarked on a major trade mission to India to showcase some of Britain’s popular exports such as Scotch whisky.

The mission, which arrived in Mumbai today, is designed to grow and develop the local market s awareness of British whisky, gin, craft beer, meat, fish, gourmet food and drink, health food and dairy at a time when the UK feels the Indian market’s appetite for these products is expanding.

The delegation is led by the UK government s Department for International Trade.

“We are excited to build upon the existing connection that India and the UK share for quality food and drink. As gourmet brands continue to grow and succeed in India, we are confident that there is room for some of the best UK products to be a part of that expanding appetite,” said Crispin Simon, British Deputy High Commissioner for Western India and Director General, Department for International Trade, India and South Asia.

“By bringing UK companies to India and facilitating face-to-face interactions, we aim to create an environment where relationships can be built, he said.

The delegation, which includes representatives from Amber Glen Scotch Whisky, Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery Ltd, DeVine Distillates Group Ltd and the English Cheesecake Company Ltd among others, will participate in the 11th India Food Forum in Mumbai before travelling to Bengaluru to attend the British Food and Drinks Symposium on Friday.

In Mumbai, the delegation will also meet with Amit Lohani of the Food and Drink Importers Association (FIFI) and a representative from Santander bank to discuss food and drink opportunities in India.

Ian Wright, Director General, Food and Drink Federation, said, “Food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector and our delegation represents the diversity and excellence of our top-class industry.”

“The UK and India enjoy a vibrant and dynamic trading relationship, which is thriving as new opportunities unfold.

We are keen to strengthen existing ties, make new contacts, explore business opportunities and build prosperous and long-lasting commercial relationships. The UK delegates will also be taken on a tour of top Indian gourmet and beverage producing sites in Bengaluru, including the likes of Big Basket, Phoenix Market City, Amruth Distillery and UB city.

The delegation’s primary objective is to connect with local companies, explore market opportunities and build lasting relationships in India.

The visit comes just three weeks before the India-UK Createch Summit in Mumbai on February 6 and is part of a wider month of interaction between the two countries, celebrating commercial and creative links.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.