Your feature on Best of British prepared the ground nicely for this week’s news from the FDF that 2011 UK food and drink exports hit a record £12bn.

This is great news and I hope that it will encourage more highly competent and innovative - but UK-focused - suppliers to think seriously about the benefits of acquiring new retail customers outside the domestic market.

And while the headlines go to the creditable achievements in markets like China - now no 19 on the UK exports leaderboard - let’s not forget substantial market opportunities much nearer home.

Despite the travails of the Eurozone, the EU accounts for 77% of our exports. And these are not mature and declining markets: for example, sales to both The Netherlands and Belgium were up 30% last year.

Green Seed’s teams across Europe and North America provided the in-market support for Food from Britain until its closure, and from our continuing regular contact with supermarket buyers, we know there is still a great appetite for UK branded and own label expertise.

Simon Waring, managing director, Green Seed UK

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