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  • 13 Nov 2017 2:13 PM | Anonymous

    Auchan Italia has launched an awareness campaign, La Vita In Blu, which aims to help consumers make better food choices. The retailer says that the programme is based on consumer feedback and has been developed in collaboration with the medical and scientific community in Italy. Auchan says it evaluated more than 100,000 products, selecting items in each category that offer the best nutritional balance among proteins, fibres, vitamins and minerals, and contain a controlled amount of sugars, saturated fats and salt. The product selection will be updated at least every six months.

    Auchan’s initiative has created some controversy in Italy, with Federalimentare, the group representing the Italian food industry, describing it as a “totally arbitrary food assessment system”. Meanwhile, the chairman of Italy’s Ministry of Health food safety committee, Giorgio Calabrese, said that “Auchan’s selection excludes many Mediterranean diet products”.

    Source: Private Label Manufacturer's Association.

  • 08 Nov 2017 11:54 AM | Anonymous

    Major markets like Russia and Romania are the engine that drive the European FMCG branch’s growth. Discounters and convenience stores continue to expand their reach, according to the international research organization IGD.

    Local retailers expand

    Over the next five years, food sales will grow three times as fast in Central and Eastern Europe as compared to Western Europe. The European food retail industry will grow 3.8 % annually in that same time frame, but the annual growth for Central and Eastern Europe will be 6.5 % compared to 2.4 % for Western Europe.

    "Many local retailers, including X5 Retail Group, Lenta and the discounters, have planned major expansion plans for markets like Russia and Romania, where there have only been limited market consolidation efforts. This will speed up the region’s growth”, IGD’s Milos Ryba said.

    Read more at Retail Detail - click here

  • 17 Oct 2017 1:59 PM | Anonymous

    International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has announced that small businesses can now access government-backed export finance directly from their banks, boosting UK trade.

    UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, is on Monday 16 October launching a new partnership with 5 major high street banks allowing smaller businesses to access millions of pounds in government-backed trade finance directly from their bank in seconds.

    UKEF, as part of the Department for International Trade, provides financial support to help UK companies sell to international customers. This new partnership with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS/NatWest and Santander, announced by Liam Fox in July, comes as the Board of Trade met for the first time on 12 October


  • 29 Sep 2017 10:13 AM | Anonymous
    Value Added Tax (VAT) is due to be introduced in the UAE and wider-GCC on January 1st 2018. VAT will be charged on:
    • Supplies of goods and services by a taxable person (a person who is registered or required to be registered for VAT) where the supplies are made within the same GCC member state in the course of carrying on a business.
    • The importation of goods from outside of the GCC.
    • The exportation of goods or services to outside of the GCC – although these supplies will be zero rated.
    • The receipt of good and services cross border within the GCC – by the application of the reverse charge mechanism.
    • The receipt of services from outside of the GCC by a VAT registered customer – by the application of the reverse charge mechanism.

    More details can be seen on the website of the UAE Ministry of Finance  - click here

  • 20 Sep 2017 10:16 AM | Anonymous

    From 21st September firms across the UK will be able to take advantage of a near-total removal of tariffs on exports to Canada, as the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is provisionally applied.

    CETA is the most extensive free trade agreement to date. The agreement scraps 98% of import duties, giving UK companies easy access to a valuable market of more than 35 million people and opening the door for companies to strike up productive relationships for future trade with Canada.

    DIT is keen for companies across the UK to take advantage of the opportunities CETA

    A factsheet that summarises the changes CETA brings for the food and drink sectors can be downloaded here.

    The UK Government is committed to seeking continuity in its current trade and investment relationships, including those covered by EU FTAs and provide certainty for businesses. CETA will not only boost exports in the short term, generating jobs and growth, but is also an opportunity to lay solid foundations for the UK’s future trading relationship with Canada.

    The Prime Minister recently announced the establishment of a new joint working group to examine how DIT can transition the ambitious measures set out in CETA. This will be the 13th working group established across 18 countries since the EU referendum.

  • 18 Sep 2017 12:32 PM | Anonymous

    Sponsored for 2018 by Delamere Dairy

    The awards, founded and run by FreeFromFoodsMatter celebrate the innovation and imagination shown by the food industry in creating foods that are free of wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, soya, sulphites and other allergens.

    UK freefrom companies are increasingly looking not just to Europe but to the Middle East, India, China, Australia and the US for their markets. This new category will seek out some of the products that UK companies are exporting – sponsored in it first year by Queen's Award for Export winners and FDEA Member Delamere Dairy.

    Entry for the 2018 awards opens Wednesday 13th September 2017 and closes at midnight on Sunday 3rd December 2017.

    Judging will be in early February 2018.

    The presentation of the awards will be on 17th April 2018.

    The Awards will be showcased at the Allergy & Freefrom Shows at Olympia, Liverpool and Glasgow in 2017/8.

    For more details and information on how to enter click here

  • 18 Aug 2017 11:55 AM | Anonymous
    • Exports of all UK food and drink in H1 2017 grew to £10.2bn, up 8.5% on H1 2016 – the largest H1 exports value on record
    • Exports to the EU27 grew at a faster rate than to non-EU markets, increasing the share of sales to the EU to 61.2%
    • Sales of branded food and non-alcoholic drink continue to lead the way with exports up 11.3% on H1 2016
    • The UK's top 3 export products are whisky, salmon and beer
    • The top 3 export destinations remain Ireland, France and the United States

    The first half of 2017 saw exports of all UK food and drink grow to £10.2bn, up 8.5% on H1 2016. This represents the highest first half exports value on record. The UK's top 3 export products are whisky, salmon and beer. Contrary to recent export trends, stronger growth was reported to EU countries (+9.0%) than to countries outside the EU (+7.6%).

    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 and Japan. Spain saw a 17.6% decrease compared with H1 2016 due to a drop in commodity exports such as wheat and barley, while Japan was marginally down by 2%.

    The three export markets that saw the greatest percentage growth in value in H1 were South Korea (+77%), China (+35%), and Belgium (+39%). The rapid growth in exports to growing East Asian markets was led by South Korea fast gaining a taste for British beer, and overall exports surged to £156.3m.

    The US is the UK's top non-EU market for exports of branded food and drink, reaching £91.5m in H1 2017, up from £87.8m in 2016. Top UK branded goods sold to the US in H1 included food preparations, bread, pastry, cakes, puddings and sweet biscuits. The US has been identified by the Government as providing significant opportunities for a trade deal post-Brexit.

    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 16% to -£12.4bn in H1 2017.

    FDF recently commissioned Grant Thornton to undertake an economic contribution report, which identified China (£274.3m in H1), India (£50.7m in H1) and the UAE (£164.8m in H1) as the top 3 target markets that food and drink companies would like to target. These countries were prioritised by the companies surveyed based on their scale which affords a sizeable middle class target customer base with strong and growing demand for quality Western products.

    Ian Wright CBE, Director General, FDF, said:

    “The growth of food and alcoholic drink exports is very encouraging. 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.

    “It is great to see such strong growth in our exports to EU Member States. The EU remains an essential market for UK exports as well as for supplies of key ingredients and raw materials used by our industry. We believe there are significant opportunities to grow our sector’s exports further still. The continuing weakness of sterling is a concern. However, we hope that with the determination of businesses and the assistance of Government, we can open more channels and provide a further boost to the UK’s competitiveness on the world market.”

    Food Minister George Eustice MP said:

    “These encouraging figures show that the UK’s high quality foods and high standards are sought after around the world.

    "We have ambitious plans to produce and export more of our fabulous foods around the world and more businesses are trying exporting for the first time.

    "Last week we announced further market access to China for pork producers and UK beef will soon be heading to the Philippines. We will continue to work with industry to open new opportunities.”

    Elsa Fairbanks, Director, FDEA, said:

    “It is pleasing to see exports perform so strongly in the first half of the year, with UK food and drink exporters seeing the largest figures in record. Our core markets in the EU and North America are showing healthy growth and is something we should protect and build on in the months ahead. Asian markets have also seen impressive growth and this is clearly a region we should turn our attention to further as exporters in the future.”


    More information

    FDF commissioned research by Grant Thornton covering export opportunities and can be found here:

  • 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.


  • 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 - - 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

  • 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:

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