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SamosaCo is a great British exporting success story. What started out as husband and wife team Sokhy and Goldie Sandhu cooking up samosas in the back kitchen of their Cardiff corner shop has grown into a genuinely global business.

From their purpose-built base in the heart of the Welsh Valleys, the business remains family-run and sells samosas to spice lovers from Spain to Singapore.

Government and industry are united in our desire to write more exporting success stories like SamosaCo’s. The UK’s food and drink is sustainable, delicious, and produced to the highest of standards.

Exporting more of our produce will diversify business revenue streams, create jobs throughout their deep supply chains, and drive growth in communities all around the UK.

We know rising costs and the fallout from the pandemic have made times tough for businesses. But wherever in the country they’re based, exporting offers firms a path to success.

So it’s a travesty that right now less than a quarter of our food manufacturers export. This doesn’t reflect the quality and variety they have to offer – we need to do more to unleash their potential. The trade secretary Kemi Badenoch has set an ambitious target for the UK to sell a trillion pounds worth of goods and services to the world by 2030, and we won’t get there without a boom in food and drink exports.

Our businesses have the hunger, industry groups have the expertise, and governments have the global contact books to make this happen. But, as the Trade & Agriculture Commission rightly recognised, we can only properly deliver by bringing all three together to work as one.

That’s why, on their recommendation, we’ve launched the Food & Drink Export Council to unite government – both UK and devolved – with industry bodies and exporters who’ve been there and done it. This Council’s work has the potential to be a gamechanger for exports and we’re proud to lead this team effort.

Tee Sandhu – Sokhy and Goldie’s son and SamosaCo’s operations director – sits on the Council. He’s joined by established exporters of British favourites old and new: Scotch maker Speyside Distillers, Quorn, Coombe Castle dairy, soft drinks specialist Belvoir Farm, and protein powder pioneer Volac. There are also representatives from every devolved administration, leaders from DIT and Defra, and industry experts from the likes of the NFU and the Food & Drink Federation who engage with businesses day in, day out.

Our first meeting last week was a resounding success. Every member of the Council agreed that with just an 18-month term to deliver more exports, we need to act quickly and harness our collective strengths. So, we thrashed out some key objectives on which to focus.

First, we’re pinpointing areas where sharing expertise, funding and resources can grow exports.

Second, we’re identifying barriers to global market access that block our businesses, supporting the work DIT is doing to overcome them right now.

Third, we’re building a better understanding of our priority markets using a data and sector-driven approach. We’ll weigh up future global demand for British food and drink, and tailor our efforts to meet it by upskilling businesses. We’ll build on our ‘GREAT’ and national marketing campaigns and put global opportunities on firms’ radars.

This council won’t be a talking shop. We’re setting ambitious goals to hold our feet to the fire. And before our next meeting, we’ll appoint members to drive forward work matching their expertise.

As its co-chairs, we’re committed to making this council a success, and we’ve got momentum on which to build. HMRC’s latest stats show food and drink exports are on the rise.

Thanks to DIT and Defra bulldozing barriers to trade, our beef and lamb is back on the menu in Japan and the US, South Koreans can tuck into a British bacon butty, and Mongolians can find chicken from Northern Ireland inside KFC.

The UK’s trade agreements are also creating exporting opportunities. Deals with Australia and New Zealand will wipe out tariffs as high as 20% on valuable exports like cheddar cheese and 5% on Scotch whisky.

And DIT is striving to open more doors for food and drink makers in negotiations with some of the world’s fastest growing markets: India, the Gulf-Cooperation Council, Mexico, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

These are the kind of opportunities this Council wants to empower our businesses to seize. We understand trade agreements and market access wins won’t benefit the UK unless businesses can take advantage of them. By combining the resources, energy and expertise of government and industry, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

And we have every confidence that, in 18 months’ time, we’ll be able to tell The Grocer’s readers more great British success stories like SamosaCo’s.