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.
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