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.”