Welsh SMEs given access to £1.6M export scheme

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Welsh SMEs were given access to a £1.6M exporting programme
Welsh SMEs were given access to a £1.6M exporting programme
Small and medium-sized (SME) food businesses in Wales looking to break into global markets can now access a €1.8M (£1.6M) programme aimed at increasing competitiveness, the Welsh government has announced.

The nation has joined the Atlantic Area Export Project, which supports businesses from across the Atlantic Arc to work together to overcome the barriers smaller businesses in the sector face when they try to expand into international markets.

Exports grown by 20%

Welsh ​food and drink exports ​have grown by almost 20% in the past year​, according to the Welsh government​. Currently more than 72% of food and drink is exported directly from Wales to the EU, a figure that rises to 90% for Welsh red meat, it said. 

Lesley Griffiths,​ cabinet secretary for e​nvironment and rural affairs, said just one breakthrough can be a ​“real game changer, providing a significant boost”​ to ​its rural economy.

“We will continue to push the UK government to prioritise full and unfettered access to the Single Market and avoid any new barriers which impede Welsh food and drink businesses from operating effectively,”​ he said.

‘Many opportunities’

“There are many opportunities and we are supporting our food and drink sector to be in a position to make the very best of these.”

The Welsh government has pledged to invest £2.4M over the next two years to expand the food and drink industry’s export market and raise Wales’s global profile.

In March, ​it revealed that​ £21M would be made available through Project Helix to help smaller food manufacturers in Wales increase production and reduce waste. The project has since supported 162 SMEs, and safeguarded 120 jobs.

Related topics: Business News, Services, Brexit Debate

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