Sir: I was frankly astonished to read your report on Fiona Kendrick’s address to The Grocer’s ‘How to Export a Brand’ conference (‘Nestlé boss calls for ‘more effective’ UK food exports support’, 10 October, p8). The UK does have a significant presence at most of the major global trade fairs. This year there will be 12 UK pavilions organised by the Food & Drink Exporters Association, many in conjunction with UKTI, at fairs ranging across the world from California to China and South Africa, with 330 UK companies exhibiting their products to receptive buyers.
Defra ministers have encouraged the efforts of exporters, many of whom are SMEs, by travelling to trade fairs in China, Germany and the US to lend their support.
While greater funding of trade fairs would be most welcome and put the UK on a par with some of our competitors, Ms Kendrick does a disservice to our dedicated exporters.
We would welcome her to SIAL in Paris next week, where she will see 100 UK Food & Drink exporters in the UK pavilions, doing their best to grow our exports and close the £21.3bn trade gap.
John Whitehead, director, Food & Drink Exporters Association