According to Food and Drink Federation (FDF) export data, UK sales to China almost doubled from 2015 to 2017.
“Consumers across the globe know British produce is ... high in quality,” said food minister George Eustice, commenting on Government figures for the first half of 2018.
Singapore and Australia were the fastest-growing food and drink export markets, the FDF claimed. Whisky, wine, gin, chocolate and sweet biscuits were big hits in Singapore, while gin and soft drinks were top sellers down under.
The fastest-growing top ten UK export categories by value overall were breakfast cereals, gin and beef. Total export sales hit £10.68bn in the first half of 2018, up 5.1% in the same period in 2017, driven by established EU27 markets.
FDF chief executive Ian Wright called for more support from Government to safeguard competitiveness, in line with its proposals for a food and drink industry sector deal.
“With great uncertainty still hanging over our future trading relationship with our largest food and drink market – the EU – now is the time for the Government to back UK food and drink exports with the kind of turbocharged support that FDF has proposed.”
Launching the Government’s pan-industry export strategy in London earlier this month, trade and export promotion minister Baroness Rona Fairhead promised measures to boost exports.
These included a national network of export champions to support their peers, global trade show engagement and web help to identify export opportunities.