News

  • 15 Aug 2017 5:45 PM | Anonymous

    A new paper setting out proposals for a future customs relationship with the EU has been unveiled today by the Government in the first of a series of papers on the UK’s future partnership with the EU.

    The document highlights the UK’s strong starting position and how we can build on the strong foundation through two broad approaches:

    A highly streamlined customs arrangement between the UK and the EU, with customs requirements that are as frictionless as possible. This would aim to continue some existing arrangements we have with the EU, reduce or remove barriers to trade through new arrangements, and adopt technology-based solutions to make it easier for businesses to comply with customs procedures.

    A new customs partnership with the EU by aligning our approach to the customs border in a way that removes the need for a UK-EU customs border. One potential approach would involve the UK mirroring the EU’s requirements for imports from the rest of the world where the final destination is the EU.

    The paper also sets out new details on an interim period with the EU. The proposed model, which would mean close association with the EU Customs union for a time-limited period, would ensure that UK businesses only have to adjust once to a new customs relationship. This would minimise disruption and offering business a smooth and orderly transition.

    Read more at www.gov.uk


  • 14 Jul 2017 3:33 PM | Anonymous

    The Government has  introduced the Repeal Bill to Parliament. This represents a significant milestone in the UK’s exit of the European Union. The Repeal Bill will ensure that, once we have left the EU, our laws will not be made in Brussels but in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast. It will allow for a smooth and orderly exit by providing a functioning statute book of domestic law on the day we leave the EU. 

    For businesses and organisations in every sector of the UK economy, the Repeal Bill aims to maximise certainty, clarity and continuity, and ensure a stable transition as we leave the EU. Its purpose is to convert EU law as it applies in the UK at the point of exit, into domestic law that will continue to apply after we leave. The powers in the Bill ensure that, whatever the outcome of negotiations, and, wherever it is practical and sensible, the same laws and rules will still apply to businesses, consumers and workers in the UK on the day after departure. 

    The Bill is therefore about continuity. It is not a vehicle for making changes to the regulatory framework that currently applies to business. In the longer term however, Parliament and, where appropriate, the devolved legislatures, will be able to make changes to our laws after full scrutiny and proper debate. 

    To maximise certainty and to aid preparation, DEFRA has published guidance to businesses and organisations - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-businesses-on-the-repeal-bill - to help explain any changes and answer some of the questions you may have.

    DEFRA will continue to engage with businesses and civil society stakeholders throughout the passage of the Bill and, more widely, on the exit process itself.  

    If you would like to provide feedback or discuss the Bill directly with DExEU (who lead on it overall) , you can contact them at stakeholder.engagement@dexeu.gov.uk.


  • 16 Jun 2017 11:10 AM | Anonymous

    Amazon, the fourth biggest business in the USA, accounting for 43% of online sales, has bought Whole Foods.

    Until now, Amazon has had a limited impact on the grocery market. In the US, it accounts for less than 0.5% of grocery spending, according to GlobalData.

    Whole Foods has had a huge influence on food retail in the US, but recently growth has stalled.  In February, it announced it would close 9 stores in the US after a period of decling sales

    Click below to read relevant articles:

    http://www.gourmetretailer.com/top-story-retailing-amazon_buys_whole_foods-13363.html

    http://marketrealist.com/2017/06/why-did-whole-foods-consider-a-sale/

  • 31 May 2017 5:04 PM | Anonymous
    • Exports of all UK food and drink in Q1 2017 grew to £4.9bn, up 8.3% on 2016 – the largest Q1 exports value on record
    • The UK's top 3 export products remain whisky, salmon and chocolate
    • The top 3 export destinations are Ireland, France and the United States
    • Export growth to non-EU countries grew at a faster rate than those to the EU

    The first quarter of 2017 saw exports of all UK food and drink grow to £4.9bn, up 8.3% on 2016. This represents the largest first quarter exports value on record. The UK's top 3 export products remain whisky, salmon and chocolate. Export growth to non-EU countries (+9.4%) increased at a faster rate than those to the EU (+7.4%).

    Ireland, France and the United States are the top three destinations for UK food and drink in terms of overall value. Positive growth was reported in all top 20 markets, apart from Spain which saw a 21.6% decrease compared with 2016.

    The three export markets that saw the greatest percentage growth in value in Q1 were South Korea (+40.3%), Belgium (+37.3%), and South Africa (+31.2%). Beer was the key driver in export growth to South Korea, while wheat and barley were behind the rise in Belgian exports, and animal feed boosted those to South Africa.

    Exports of salmon saw the largest value growth, up 52.3% in Q1, with wine experiencing the largest increase in terms of export volume, up 13.8%.

    While the fall in the price of the pound had helped to boost UK export competitiveness, this currency weakness has also led to an increase in the cost of many essential imported ingredients and raw materials. This has resulted in the UK's food and drink trade deficit increasing by 19% to -£6.2bn in Q1 2017. The impact of weaker sterling on British exports is expected to be seen in Q3 2017 as companies negotiate new sales agreements with overseas buyers.

    Ahead of the General Election on June 8 FDF has called upon the next Government to recognise strategic importance of UK food and drink and the huge untapped export potential among UK manufacturers. At present only 20% of food and drink manufacturers actively export and FDF wants to work in partnership with Government to scale-up its provision of specialist export support in food and drink.

    See more in the Q1 exports snapshot

    Ian Wright CBE, Director General, FDF, said:

    “The growth of food and alcoholic drink exports we've seen in Q1 is very encouraging news for our industry. We want to work with Government to take advantage of increased demand for UK products overseas and the opportunities that leaving the EU is expected to create. We would encourage the new Government to look to Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) as inspiration in creating an organisation to help turbocharge sales of UK food and drink globally.

    “It is also very pleasing to see non-EU exports performing beyond expectations. As the UK leaves the EU growth in exports is hugely important to our sector. We hope that with the determination of businesses and the assistance of the new Government, we can open more channels and provide a further boost to the UK's competitiveness on the world market.”

    Elsa Fairbanks, Director, FDEA, said:

    “FDEA welcomes these good food and drink export figures. We would like to see Government further encourage exporting by ensuring producers have the skills and support to enter new, challenging markets post-Brexit.

    We must not ignore the importance of existing and very strong EU markets which still represent 65% of food and drink exports and this must be a priority as Brexit negotiations start. Ease of access to EU markets will continue to be vital to our industry in future as many food and drink products are not suited to export to distant markets. Although we recognise the need to explore new opportunities, leaving the EU should not mean ignoring those we already have”.


  • 26 Apr 2017 1:00 PM | Anonymous

    Food and drink companies will receive advice to begin or accelerate their export journey today with the launch of a new five step guide. Currently only one in five of the UK's manufacturers export which presents a massive untapped opportunity for the industry.

    '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).

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

    The guide 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.

    As the UK leaves the European Union, manufacturers must be prepared if they are to take advantage of new opportunities to sell quality UK-produced food and drink overseas. 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.

    In addition to the new guide, FDF has encouraged 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.

    The first version of the guide launched in April 2016 was very well received by industry. More than 2,000 copies have been distributed to UK businesses and it has been downloaded more than 3,500 times.

    Angela Coleshill, Competitiveness Director at FDF, said:

    “We hope that our guide will enable more of the UK's 6,800 food and drink producers to grow their businesses by becoming successful exporters. 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.”

    Angus MacNeil MP, said:

    "The guide from the Food & Drink Federation and the Food & Drink Exporters Association provides invaluable advice and support that will help more food and drink manufacturers sell their products internationally. As Chair of the International Trade Committee, I value their input, knowledge and understanding of overseas markets.”


  • 06 Apr 2017 4:33 PM | Anonymous

    Sales continue to grow as Americans embrace specialty food and beverages. The industry is taking its place as an integral player with traditional and non-traditional specialty food retailers, foodservice operators, and distributors.

    The Specialty Food Association's (SFA) annual State of the Industry report, issued today, examines the vibrant $127 billion-dollar industry in detail. Largely fueled by small business growth, total sales jumped 15% between 2014 and 2016. Growth is also driven by product innovations and wider availability of specialty foods through mass-market outlets. Sales through foodservice increased 13.7% to $27.7 billion as U.S. consumers make specialty food a regular part of their away-from-home meal purchases.

    "Consumer preferences for specialty food products are growing at double digits, outpacing mainstream food staples." said Phil Kafarakis, President of the Specialty Food Association. "The products our members create appeal to consumers looking for authentic tastes and foods with fewer and cleaner ingredients.

    Read more here

    Source:  Specialty Food Association


  • 21 Feb 2017 5:08 PM | Anonymous

    Total exports of food and drink in 2016 grew by 10.5% to a record figure of more than £20bn, as UK manufacturers responded to rapid growth in demand for quality produce, the Food and Drink Federation has said.

    Download the factsheet (pdf) on our homepage

    Exports of branded food and non-alcoholic drink led the way in 2016 with growth of 11.5% to £5.2bn, the 16th year of consecutive growth.

    Excluding alcohol, the UK’s three top three export categories remain chocolate, salmon and cheese, with exports of salmon up 16.4%, driven by large increases to France up 32.2%, Ireland up 24.6% and Germany up 98.9%.

    The USA is now the second largest export market for the UK and the largest outside Europe, with exports increasing by 13% to £2.2bn in 2016. This now means the UK’s two largest export markets, Ireland and the USA together buy more than a quarter of all UK food and drink exports. Sales to non-EU markets continued to grow at a faster rate than to the EU, however 71.4% of food and drink excluding alcohol was sold to EU Member States.

    Demand was up in every single one of the UK's top 20 markets in 2016, with China the fastest growing market, up 51.1% on 2015 to £439.5m. Highlighted as a priority export market in the joint Government-Industry International Action Plan for Food and Drink, China’s appetite for branded UK food and non-alcoholic drink has also risen by 50% in 2016 to £84.7m.

    While the fall in the price of the pound had helped to boost UK export competitiveness, it has also made essential imports more expensive and the UK’s food and drink trade deficit grew 5.7% to -£22.4bn. The impact of weaker sterling on British exports is expected to be seen in H1 2017 as companies negotiate new sales agreements with overseas buyers.

    Ian Wright, Director General, FDF said:

    "British food and drink exports have hit a record high yet there is still massive untapped potential. More specialist support for new and existing exporters, with fiscal incentives and financial assistance, would get more of the country’s 6,500+ food and drink producers exporting. Our target is to grow branded exports by a third by 2020 to more than £6bn.

    “Competing nations such as France, Germany and Italy offer greater support for training, help with start-up costs and showcasing opportunities at international tradeshow platforms to build their band of exporters. Building on the International Action Plan, we are working with Government and the Food & Drink Exporters Association to help businesses in this sector compete abroad and meet rising demand for British produce.”

    “Competing nations such as France, Germany and Italy offer greater support for training, help with start-up costs and showcasing opportunities at international tradeshow platforms to build their band of exporters. Building on the International Action Plan, we are working with Government and the Food & Drink Exporters Association to help businesses in this sector compete abroad and meet rising demand for British produce.”

    Elsa Fairbanks, Director at FDEA, said:

    “We are pleased to see that the 2016 export figures reflect the positive experiences that the food and drink exporting community continues to share with us.

    “Hopefully even more UK food and drink producers will be inspired to look beyond their home market and take advantage of the huge interest in quality UK food and drink produces and the improved competitiveness of sterling.”


  • 21 Nov 2016 10:29 AM | Anonymous

    Exports of branded food and non-alcoholic drinks shot up by 13.7% in the third quarter of 2016, according to new figures from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF). Sales to non-European Union (EU) markets grew at twice the rate of the EU, however, the EU still remains the top destination for branded exports, buying two thirds of the total. This represents the biggest quarterly export sales we have ever seen and builds on Q2, which was in turn the largest up to that point.

    The overall value of UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports rose to £3.4bn in Q3, up 12.1% on the same period in 2015. Latest year-to-date figures now show impressive double-digit growth with total exports of £10.1bn during the first three quarters of 2016.

    Read  more here....

    Download the Q3 report here


  • 11 Nov 2016 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    Mintel,  has announced the six key trends set to impact the global food and drink market – highlighting ingredient and food and drink product trends set to make an impact over the coming year. 2017 will be a year of extremes, from “ancient” products including grains, recipes, practices and traditions to the use of technology to create more and better tasting plant-enhanced foods.

    Expect to see a rise in both “slow” and “fast” claims as well as more products designed to help people calm down before bedtime, sleep better and restore the body while they rest. Opportunities will exist for more products to leverage the reputation of the tea category and use chamomile, lavender and other herbs in formulations as a way to achieve a sense calm before bedtime. There will also be a valid excuse for nighttime chocolate indulgence. In 2017 and beyond, expect to see more of the unexpected, including fruit snacks made with ugly fruit and mayonnaise made with the liquid from draining chickpeas, which has been dubbed aquafaba.

    Looking ahead to 2017, Mintel’s Global Food and Drink Analyst Jenny Zegler discusses the top food and drink trends set to impact global markets:
    Click here to read more



  • 18 Oct 2016 10:28 AM | Anonymous
    During a visit by the Secretary of State Leadsom to the UK pavilion at SIAL Paris, DEFRA and DIT today launched their UK Food & Drink International Action Plan  2016-20.
    The plan sets out how the Government and Industry will work together in partnership to deliver a boost in exports.

    FDEA welcomes  
    that Government is now treating UK food and drink exports as a high priority and we look forward to increased resource being provided to assist exporters in their efforts to grow their international business

    Download the report here (pdf)
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