Pounds slide makes exports rise

By Hayley Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ffb International trade Export United kingdom

Pounds slide makes exports rise
Food processors consider exporting more goods to take advantage of sterling's demise

An increasing number of food manufacturers are weighing up the advantages of exporting, as the pound's value last week slid to its lowest level against the dollar and Euro for over seven years.

While fears for the UK economy and panic over the state of British banks forced the pound to plummet, this spells good news for food manufacturers looking to increase their exports, according to Food from Britain (FFB).

Although 2009 will be a tough year, "the changes in exchange rates have more recently meant that British products in Europe have become 20-30% cheaper", said Chris Brockman, research manager at FFB.

For the third consecutive year British exports have reached record levels, and FFB estimated that for 2008 the figure would be around £13.3bn, up from £11.5bn in 2007. "These increases cannot wholly be attributed to the change in currency rates, but they are without doubt attracting new interest," Brockman added.

For example, md of Southover Foods, Steve Pearce said that he was looking at ways to export cooked meats to expat markets in Spain. "It's the currency rates that are really making exporting look tempting," said Pearce.

In light of its forthcoming closure on March 31 this year, FFB has set up a webpage in conjunction with the Food and Drink Federation at http://www.fdf.org.uk/exports​. This is to lead prospective exporters to other organisations that offer export support to British food and drink companies.

John Adams, chief executive officer at FFB, said: "We want to emphasise the fact that there will be support for anyone in the food and drink industry that wants to either start or continue to export their products ... The fact that the webpage will be available via http://www.foodfrombritain.com​ will ensure that companies unaware of FFB's closure are not left in the dark about remaining support."

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