New guide launched to help boost UK food and drink exports

A new five-step guide has been launched to help food and drink companies find new export destinations.

Food and drink exporting – Five steps to success’ has been developed by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA).

UK food and drink exports reached a record £20bn in 2016, while branded food and drink exports grew 11.5% to £5.2bn. FDF has set an ambition to help grow exports of UK branded goods by a third by 2020 to more than £6bn.

The growth of exports, particularly to China, have been a success story for the pig sector in recent years, adding an estimated £30 to the value of each pig carcase.

But across the food and drink sector, currently only one in five of the UK’s manufacturers export which presents a ‘massive untapped opportunity for the industry’, according to the FDF and FDEA.

The new guide was launched today at an export breakfast for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Food and Drink Manufacturing in Parliament on Wednesday morning.

It encourages current and would-be exporters to think about the core elements of the export process, answering key questions, and providing useful tips and relevant contacts.

FDF has also encouraged the Government to work with industry to scale-up its provision of specialist food and drink export support by putting in place a one-stop shop to support small and medium-sized exporters.

Angela Coleshill, competitiveness director at FDF, said: “Manufacturers in competing nations typically benefit from more generous government export support than those in the UK, so it is essential that organisations such as FDF and FDEA work together to help unlock our industry’s huge potential.

 “While our future trading terms with the EU are unclear, now is the time for British businesses to embrace new opportunities in non-EU countries and take advantage of rising demand to make inroads into new markets.”

John Whitehead OBE, Director of FDEA, said: “There’s great interest across the globe in UK food and drink, which continues to possess a reputation for real quality. We’d like to see more manufacturers look beyond their domestic market and take advantage of these opportunities, which can really help businesses grow.”

SNP MP Angus MacNeil, chair of the International Trade Committee, said the guide ‘provides invaluable advice and support that will help more food and drink manufacturers sell their products internationally’.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.