|Funchal, Madeira (Courtesy WikiCommons)|
"We've learned a terrific amount on our previous visits to some of the Greek islands and the Canaries, but the board felt it was time to try somewhere new," Sir Norman said.
The schedule begins with the team flying out from Manchester early tomorrow morning, and meetings are planned on Friday with some of the island's top import and export agencies. The following Tuesday sees a visit to the capital's second biggest abattoir. Sir Norman said: "Obviously, I hope we'll also get a chance to sample some of Madeira's traditional hospitality whilst we are there, but it's very much a case of fitting that in around official engagements."
Sir Norman said that with Britain's planned exit from the EU it was more important than ever that agencies such as the TMB built new links in readiness for free trade. He promised he would be making a full report to the board at its next scheduled meeting following his return in mid-August.
UK retailers and consumers are advised that a skeleton staff will be available at the TMBs office to handle enquiries over the next two weeks.