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Exports: Help for food and drink businesses

16 May 2017

Food and drink businesses can get help to begin or accelerate their export journey with the launch of a five-step guide. Only 20 per cent of the UK’s manufacturers export, representing a missed opportunity for many businesses. With the weak pound making British exports more competitive, there has never been a better time to test the water.

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

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.

An earlier version of the guide 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 since its launch a year ago.

John Whitehead, Director of the FDEA, said: “There’s great interest across the globe in UK food and drink, which possesses 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.”

Angela Coleshill, Competitiveness Director at FDF, added: “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.”

She added: “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.”

UK food and drink exports reached a record £20bn in 2016, while branded food and drink exports grew by 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, it has encouraged government to work with industry to scale-up provision of specialist food and drink export support by putting in place a one-stop shop to support small and medium-sized exporters.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce’s Business Growth Hub can provide a wealth of assistance to new and existing exporters, and not only those in food and drink.

We offer half-day workshops, export masterclasses, a series of online video tutorials and an export documentation service, plus information on trade shows, introductions, export finance and discounted flights for exporters.

For more information click here or call Catherynn Dunstan on 0845 22 600 40 or email her at catherynn@cumbriachamber.co.uk