Food firms urged to look outside Europe to export

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

the port of Liverpool could be vital for UK exports after Brexit, claimed the department of International Trade
the port of Liverpool could be vital for UK exports after Brexit, claimed the department of International Trade
UK food and drink producers should expand trade beyond Europe and focus on shipping goods to the US and Asia, according to the Department of International Trade (DIT) and the Welsh government.

At a dinner hosted by port operator Peel Ports Group and attended by 50 north-west food and drink producers, DIT suggested the Port of Liverpool could become the gateway to lucrative export markets for thousands of manufacturers.

The message comes at a time when British produce is growing in popularity. More than £22bn of food and drink products shipped around the world last year and over £1.7bn from the north west alone.

Scott Kilshaw, supply chain director at Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer manufacturer Halewood International, attended the event.

Regardless of any consequences

According to Kilshaw, the potential for UK firms to increase their export volumes via the north west is endless, regardless of any consequences Brexit might bring.

“Demand overseas is growing, and the more we can export, the more mature the international market will become,”​ he added. “If we don’t commit to fulfilling the UK’s food and drink export potential, we will be losing out on a significant market which already has a taste for British produce.

“With significant investments being made at The Port of Liverpool in recent years, the north west has a deep sea gateway to the world, which is ideally located in the heart of the UK.”

Logistics group Atlantic Container Line (ACL) said the port of Liverpool had been “instrumental” ​in growing the UK’s export levels in recent years.

‘Export potential’

David Shaw, GM corporate documentation at ACL, commented: “Eighty per cent of our transatlantic trade arriving by road comes from within an 80-mile radius of Liverpool, which really shows the density of producers in the north of England and their export potential.”

Peel Ports chief operating officer Patrick Walters said Liverpool had to potential to turn thousands of producers across the country into global exporters.

“Connected to the heart of the UK by road, rail and canal, shipping via Liverpool provides direct access to the bulk of the UK’s population and, in turn, to a significant number of producers looking to take the next step on their journey and export goods abroad,”​ said Walters.

Related topics: Supply Chain

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