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‘Angling International is delivering a show that is long overdue’ says UK tackle supplier


Mark Hamnett, Managing Director of Fishing Matters, recalls a conversation ten years ago with Angling International’s owner, Rob Carter.

The pair were standing at the bar in a trade show in Vienna, discussing what kind of event the trade really needed.

“My ideas were a long way from what was being offered at the time,” says Hamnett. “I remember feeling quite strongly about the sort of show that would work for the European trade. 

“Now, ten years later, Angling International is delivering the kind of proposition that I believe is way overdue.”

That perhaps accounts for the fact that Fishing Matters was among the first companies to register for this September’s show. Hamnett is passionate about his brands and the company he has built and he sees a good European show as integral to achieving his growth strategy.

“I was happy to hear that someone who understands business is behind the show,” he says. “And it’s not going to cost me an arm and a leg to promote my brands in Europe.

“It’s also good to see that the big companies are not the main priority. Fishing Matters is an SME and I am happy to stay that way.” (According to the European Union SMEs represent 99% of all business in the trading bloc)

“We are already an international company. Two thirds of our business is export. Canada is currently my biggest market. But I want to be a global business and what we are looking for now is the ability to promote my brands to other countries to help achieve that.”

Hamnett’s priorities are clear: to further expose his sea fishing brand, Cox & Rawle, and his carp brand, Partridge Carp, to European retailers. “I’ve done very well in the UK because I got on the road and doorstepped people, “he explains.

“Since acquiring Cox & Rawle in 2011, it has gone from nowhere to number one in sea fishing with some big retailers. Angling InternationaI LIVE presents an opportunity to replicate that success in Europe and beyond.

“It is part of our ongoing strategy to improve the way we project ourselves to the trade. I want to be seen to be out there promoting brands I believe in. We are strong in a number of countries, but there are still markets I need to be in, France and Germany being two of those.

“The Balkans and Eastern Europe are awkward for us at the moment and if we don’t go to Angling International LIVE they will continue to be awkward. The carp market is big in these regions and we are very focused on establishing good sales there right now. I think Budapest is a venue that can help us do that.

“I have found Europe to be very open to new brands with some of the big players seemingly in meltdown. This is a good time to meet people face to face at a show.

“We want the European trade to know more about us, especially Eastern Europe. It is important in this post Brexit era that we remain visible to European companies.”

To join Fishing Matters and many more European SMEs at Angling International LIVE register here now

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