Exports Euro

The falling pound against the Euro and Dollar could mean that food and drink exports will grow

The Grocer is polling food and drink manufacturers on the exports opportunity in the wake of Brexit.

This week British exhibitors are attending the Sial exhibition in Paris, France in the hope that they can boost exports.

And with sterling falling 18% against the dollar and 16% against the euro following the Brexit vote, the government is also hoping that food and drink exports will grow, with Defra secretary of state announcing a new initiative to support these efforts at the show.

But how big an opportunity is it? Which countries/regions provide the biggest opportunity? What impact is the Brexit deal having on trading with EU customers? And how much faith do suppliers have in the help that government has provided?

These are some of the questions in our short survey, which you can take by clicking on the button below.

Figures from the Food & Drink Federation show exports of food and non-alcoholic drink were up 8.7% to £6.6bn, while overseas sales of branded goods grew by £93.7m (+6.2%) to £2.4bn in the first six months of 2016.

Within that exports to the EU rose 7.2% to £4.7bn year on year and nearly 70% of all branded exports are to the EU, worth £1.7bn in the year to June. In fact, eight of the top 10 markets for branded exports were EU countries, and particularly strong sales growth was seen in Poland (up 35%), Italy and Belgium (both up 10%).

On the other hand, exports of branded goods to non-EU markets grew by 14%. Key drivers of this growth were Malaysia (+268.5%), China (+100.9%) and the us (+31.6%), which accounted for combined value growth of £92m, a positive for the UK’s future outside the EU.

These figures were achieved before the referendum but there are indications that export strategies put on hold in the run-up to 23 June are now moving forward, with companies placing additional focus on exports to drive growth, particularly in the wake of sterling’s appreciation, said FDF’s director general Ian Wright.

“If H2’s exports figures are to be as strong as H1, we need more and more food businesses to embrace exporting as fundamental to their growth plans,” said Wright.

FDF has set an ambition to grow branded food and drink exports by a third to achieve a total value of £6bn by 2020.

“We have partnered with the Food & Drink Exporters Association to help more of Britain’s 6,500 producers to export, championing UK exporters and providing a platform for manufacturers to receive practical advice which we hope will help unlock our industry’s huge export potential,” Wright added.