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Rise in food and non-alcoholic drink exports

29 August 2016

The latest export figures from the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) show that the value of branded food and non-alcoholic drink exports rose to £2.4bn in the first half of 2016, an increase of 6.2% when compared to the same period in 2015. 

Over the same period branded exports to non-European Union (EU) nations rose by 14% while exports to the EU also increased by +2.9%. Exports to non-EU nations now represent 31.4% of all branded exports, again a rise on 2015 figures.
 
A weaker pound at the start of 2016 meant that UK exports were competitive in the first half of the year. With the price of the pound falling further since the end of June 2016, following the EU referendum result, it is expected there will be a further rise in exports before the end of the year.
 
The top three product categories were chocolate, salmon and wheat, with exports of vegetables, both prepared and fresh, experiencing the largest value growth, up 17.9% in the first half of 2016, when compared with 2015 figures for the same period.
 
FDF has set an ambition to grow value-added food and drink exports by a third to achieve a total value of £6 billion by 2020. The 'Exports – Five Steps to Food and Drink Exporting Success' guide, developed by FDF and the Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA), was recently launched as part of an enhanced partnership aiming to help more of Britain's 6,500 manufacturers to export.
 
Elsa Fairbanks, director at FDEA, said: “FDEA is very encouraged by the improved export performance for the first half of 2016 which reflects the commitment that many food and drink companies are making to grow the international side of their business.
 
“A significant number of our members are reporting that their export customers are now proving to be a vital part of a thriving business.” Nairns, for example has been baking oat-based products including oatcakes, crackers, biscuits, oat-based snacks and gluten free products in Scotland since 1896.   Exports account for approximately 10% of turnover and the company seen this increase around 20% year on year, in line with strategic export ambitions.
 
Exports have also become more important to Tiptree, Wilkin & Sons in the last 10 years. In 2015, around one-quarter of the company’s revenue came from oversea markets. It has seen healthy growth in the Middle East and from emerging economies, such as China.


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