By Max Clarke

Leading exporters from across Wales and the South West of England yesterday showcased their businesses at the 4th annual International Trade Awards, sponsored by Santander Corporate Banking and Eversheds.

The awards celebrated the region’s 12 finalists, who have not only survived the economic downturn, but in fact grown and thrived both in the UK and overseas.

One such finalist was TasteTech Ltd. Founded in 1992, the Bristol-based enterprise has pioneered controlled-release, encapsulated food products used in applications from long-life bread to chewing gum that retains its flavour for longer.

“It is exporting that has allowed us to survive during these tough economic times”, said Janis Sinton, MD of TasteTech, who has steered the company from its infancy to sell to clients in more than 60 countries worldwide.

The quality of their product has seen TasteTech gain numerous blue-chip clients, who in turn sell their products to a worldwide customer base.

Other exemplary businesses include IQE plc. Founded in Cardiff, ICE are the world’s largest outsource manufacturer of advanced semiconductor wafers. From smartphones to photonics, ICE’s technology can be found in thousands of gadgets, with the UK accounting for just 2% of the group’s worldwide sales.

Exemplifying the diversity of the region’s entrants is Hilton Herbs. Purveyors of quality herbal remedies for animals, Hilton Herbs’ products can be bought in 38 countries, with regional offices and warehouses in France and the USA. Their products are increasingly the choice of professionals, with vets and trainers particularly interested.

As these examples demonstrate, businesses from across the region are continuing achieve success on the world stage in the face of mounting economic pressures in the UK, driven by their determination and their innovative products.

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