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Meet the team! Introducing our Food & drink expert, Gudrun Dewhurst

Gudrun Dewhurst
14. June 2012

Originally from Austria, Gudrun has lived in the UK for over 20 years and joined us at The Austrian Trade Commission nearly 12 years ago. She looks after Austrian companies wishing to export consumer goods, in particular textiles, fashion and leather goods and food and drink specialities. Gudrun also organises study trip of Austrian businesses, journalists or student groups to the UK.

A day at the office with Gudrun Dewhurst, one of our Marketing Executives:

Q: What is your typical day?
A: No day is the same, which is what I like about my job. One of the first things I do in the morning is check our Inbox and also our office diary, so I know if any meetings are planned for that day, or if anyone is out, at trade fairs, seminar or meetings. 

My work involves dealing with enquiries from Austrian companies who wish to export their products into the UK. This usually involves giving them an overview of the specific market and researching addresses of suitable partner companies. I research information online, but also read market reports, trade magazines, search industry directories, visit trade fairs etc. For anything more specific, I speak to trade associations and industry insiders to ask for advice.

It does help to have lived here for a little while, as you get a better idea of what products would sell particularly well. All in all, the UK is such a diverse market and there is a niche for just about everything. Mind you, we do get the odd interesting product and finding a suitable partner can be quite a challenge.

Not long ago an Austrian company asked me to accompany them to a buyers’ meeting at one of the major British retailers. It was an great experience to be able to get involved. Enquiries can also work in the “other direction” and I help British companies source particular products or raw materials from Austria.

Apart from organising study trips, we also organise stands and participate at trade fairs. And I like to visit other trade fairs in my industry sectors, in particular if there are Austrian exhibitors.

I also look after our interns; students from Austria who work in our office for between one and two months. We try and involve them in as many tasks as possible and really appreciate their help. When they arrive I don’t just do the necessary paperwork, but I want to make sure they feel welcome and know their way around.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Spotting an Austrian product in a shop and knowing that you were involved at some stage.

If you are trying to find a particular product, you can get in touch with Gudrun by email: london@advantageaustria.org

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