from Barrie Watson, senior broker, Rattner Mackenzie

Sir; A thought came to mind as I read the letters from Peter Kendall and Andrew Jolliffe (The Grocer, March 18, p34-35).

The need to review competition policy and to promote British food touches on the very important and related topic of business risks. Kendall notes that companies are reluctant to "complain about their trading relationships - even if their businesses are at risk". Obviously businesses are built on relationships, both longstanding and new. But both of these pose significant risks and the question is: do we stay as we are and continue in the relative safety of our comfort zone with old friends, or do we fly the British flag, promote British food and build new relationships in new markets?

The risks are significant in both cases. Old relationships can stagnate and companies may become too reliant on one or two 'friends', where any problems could have a catastrophic impact. So the company ventures boldly into new markets. But has it considered the logistics, costs and differences in cultures?

The risks have to be balanced. Exporters need support and the correct tools to be successful.