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UK Food Industry Welcomes Plans to Boost Exports

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UK Food Industry Welcomes Plans to Boost Exports

UK Food Industry Welcomes Plans to Boost Exports
January 10
15:30 2012

Plans to use the UK’s foreign embassies to help promote UK  food and drink internationally have been welcomed at the same time as new figures have been released showing exports for the sector have grown by 12.2% compared to the same period last year. Secretary of State for the Environment, Caroline Spelman, announced last week that she will be asking the Foreign Office to follow the German example of using embassies as a base for promoting the country’s products and prospecting for exports. Her announcement has been applauded the by Food and Drink Federation, which represents the UK’s food manufacturing industry.

Food and drink has continued to be one of the UK’s export growth sectors, reaching £10 billion for the first time in 2010 and expected to finish close to £12 billion for 2011. Although the EU remains the UK’s biggest export customer, there has been strong growth in many emerging markets such as China; Saudi Arabia; Hong Kong and South Africa. Strongly performing products included chocolate; breakfast cereals; soft drinks; coffee; soup and confectionery.

Later this month, Defra and the food and drink industry will be unveiling a joint exports strategy which it is hoped will make it easier for companies to break in to new markets by removing some of the bureaucratic barriers.

FDF’s director of communications Terry Jones says: “We have recently unveiled our vision for growing the industry by 20% by 2020. Although our work to underpin the vision demonstrated that much of that growth will come from exports and importantly from SMEs exporting it also told us that we need to work to accelerate that growth and that we face stiff competition from abroad. We are therefore delighted that the Secretary of State has taken this early action which could contribute to that shared vision for the industry.”

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