Food firms have ‘enormous’ impact on economic recovery

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Scoop of the show: food minister David Heath said at IFE food and drink firms were having an “enormous impact” on Britain’s economic recovery
Scoop of the show: food minister David Heath said at IFE food and drink firms were having an “enormous impact” on Britain’s economic recovery

Related tags: Drink exports, International trade

UK food and drink manufacturers are having an “enormous impact” on Britain’s economic recovery, according to food minister David Heath.

Heath said food and drink firms were making huge inroads into new markets due to a high demand for UK products abroad.

 In this exclusive podcast, recorded as Heath visited the busy shop floor at the International Food and Drink Event (IFE) in London yesterday (March 18), the minister told FoodManufacture.co.uk​ that the government would help firms break down the barriers preventing them from experiencing export success.

‘Worldwide demand’

Heath also spoke of a worldwide demand for UK products with protected names of origin and the role big companies with a history of exporting abroad had to play in helping smaller firms share their success.

Meanwhile, also speaking at the IFE, the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) director general Melanie Leech said the FDF would use the successful export models of big food businesses to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to break into new markets.

The FDF also said that Britain’s food and drink exports are remaining resilient​ during the recession  ̶  with total food and non-alcoholic drink exports for last year maintaining their value of £12.1bn.

UK exports at a glance

  • UK food and drink exports are worth over £18bn a year
  • The government’s ambition is to expand this to £1tn a year by 2020
  • The industry contributes £96bn to the UK economy a year
  • The industry contributes 4M jobs to the UK

SOURCE: IFE

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