The UK government is failing to help food and drink manufacturers export their goods easily.

In a survey carried out by IFE for The Grocer, 77% of respondent manufacturers said they thought the UK government must do more to help them get their goods into foreign ­markets.

The government admitted food and drink exports were not currently a priority sector for UK Trade & Investment.

"Helping food and drink manufacturers with export previously fell to the Defra-funded Food from Britain, but this was disbanded in 2009," said a UKTI spokeswoman. "I don't know if there are any plans to change the current system of regionally provided information, and to centralise it. We are not in a position to comment until we know what is happening with UKTI funding."

Responses to the survey showed the majority of manufacturers felt better advice and information on how to export products should be provided centrally by government.

"UKTI need to prioritise food and drink within a strategic framework so regions do not miss opportunities or compete with each other, which could ­result in dissipated effort and confused customers," said FDF director of competitiveness Angela Coleshill.