Stands filling fast at Royal Smithfield

Stands are filling up quickly at this year's Royal Smithfield Christmas Fair, which will be held at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet 5-6 December.

Trade stand space is filling up quickly at this year's Royal Smithfield Christmas Fair, which will be held at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet 5-6 December.

The Fair, sponsored by Merial, has attracted stands offering a range of services and products for livestock farmers and they will be located across several halls and areas at the Showground.

The Fair is being staged at the top West Country Showground for the second time since its move from London two years ago and after the initial success in 2006 space is in demand. There will be stands offering specialist services and products for beef and sheep producers. There is also a Food Hall, featuring a wide range of local produce, highlighting the depth and quality of local meats, pies and cheeses among a range of regional specialities and a Gift Hall.

Show manager Alan Lyons said "Trade stand bookings are going well with all the space in the main livestock show hall taken and the Food Hall filling daily." The 2006 Fair attracted nearly 200 exhibitors and many are keen to come back again this year. Among the returning companies is Crediton Milling from Devon and Andrew Power commented "in 2006 we found the Fair extremely valuable. We were part of the first event at the Bath and West Showground and we want to be part of it again this year. We found it was a relaxed atmosphere to meet our current customers, as well as possible new ones. It was also a good social occasion enjoyed by everyone as well as a good day out."

David Benson of the British Charolais Cattle Society said "the first event was very good, well supported and had a great atmosphere. We're looking forward to it being so again this year. We found it a good opportunity for networking, for meeting people from other societies and from other industries. It was good to catch up on things."

Ivor James of Llandrindod Wells based Country Supplies (Mid Wales) said it was a good event for his company which supplies shearing and clipping equipment. "We were there to support the exhibitors" he said. "and we're looking to build on the 2006 Fair this year. There was a lot of interest in our equipment and we'll be coming to the Fair with some new products."

Duncan McLeish of Kuhn Farm Machinery, Telford, Staffordshire said he was busy at the 2006 Fair and expects to be busy again at this year's event. "We found that the majority of farmers looking for machinery spoke to us. We will be showing an updated range of machinery this year." He added "people have more time in winter to attend events and the Royal Smithfield Christmas Fair is well timed for the year ahead".

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