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UK food and drink businesses are being urged to tap into a growing international market for their products and boost their turnover by up to 20 per cent.
A week-long, government-backed focus on the sector, which began on 23 September, included two webinars, one featuring successful British exporters Hawkshead Relish and Typhoo Tea sharing their experiences of international growth and providing advice to other businesses.
Meanwhile, the Open to Export website – which supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking help in exporting from the UK – has added new content, including case studies, exporting guides and links to organisations that can help.
The initiative will be complemented later in the year by the launch of UK Trade & Investment’s Food is GREAT campaign and the Food and Drink International Action Plan, the government’s long-term export strategy for boosting the growth of the sector.
Melanie Leech, director general of the Food and Drink Federation said: “Our research shows that a proactive approach to exports brings high growth for SMEs. Exporting can go on to account for as much as one fifth of their turnover.”
Food and drink is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, with a turnover of over £90 billion. In the last five years, UK food and drink exports have grown by 61 per cent.
However, only ten per cent of SMEs in the sector export, and then mainly to close European neighbours.