Food firms should draw more on export support

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Barnes: Many firms aren't aware of the level of help available to enable them to exploit export opportunities
Barnes: Many firms aren't aware of the level of help available to enable them to exploit export opportunities

Related tags: International trade, Europe

It is “staggering” how many food and drink firms aren’t aware of how much help and support is available to enable them to exploit export opportunities.

That’s the view of Steve Barnes, economic and customer service director at the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), who said there was now a concerted effort from government, UK Trade & Industry and trade bodies to make manufacturers aware of the advice that is available.

In this podcast – recorded at an event in London to promote export opportunities to Central and Eastern Europe yesterday (June 6) – Barnes outlines why British firms should be exporting more to the region and reveals what first steps they ought to take.

Tip of the iceberg

About £400M of food goods are exported each year, but Barnes says this is at “tip of the iceberg”.

He also discussed which sectors are likely to be in demand from Central and Eastern European consumers as their economies growth and personal wealth increases.

With the British food and drink exports plateauing last year, after seven years of growth, Barnes said this is a market the industry – and UK PLC – can ill afford to ignore.

At the same event, Jonathan Knott, HM Ambassador in Budapest, Hungary, said the export opportunities to Central and Easter European outweighed those of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) region. 

Related topics: People & Skills, Services

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