Export crate

Food and drink exports reached a record £20bn in 2016, according to the DIT

UK food and drink brands must be prepared to take advantage of a £6bn export opportunity if they are to thrive in the wake of Brexit, according to a new guide released by the FDF.

Despite the economic uncertainty posed by the UK quitting the EU, the FDF said there had “never been a better time for British businesses to explore new markets”

‘Food and drink exporting - Five steps to success’, which is being launched today at an event for the all-party parliamentary group for food and drink manufacturing, encourages current and would-be exporters to think about the core elements of the export process, answering key questions about how to carve out markets, where they should look to trade, and relevant contacts.

The FDF said that 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.

According to the Department for International Trade (DIT), companies that export see a 34% increase in productivity within their first year of exporting and are 11% more likely to survive if doing business overseas.

Food and drink exports reached a record £20bn in 2016, while branded food and drink exports grew 11.5% to £5.2bn.

The FDF has set an ambition to help grow exports of UK branded goods by a third by 2020 to more than £6bn.

The new guide updates an April 2016 version, which has seen more than 2,000 copies distributed to UK businesses and has been downloaded more than 3,500 times.

“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,” said FDF competitiveness director Angela Coleshill.

“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.”