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The FDF informs the Government’s international trade policy priorities and provides advice to its members on trade and customs issues.

The FDF also offers further information to guide your company on issues arising as a result of changing terms of trade as the UK Government seeks to negotiate new trade agreements with countries and territories around the world. 

Read the latest on the Ukraine crisis

Latest updates

UK food and drink regional exports report

The FDF’s newly released food and drink exports report analyses trends for UK food and drink trade in 2021, with a focus on the four nations.

For the UK, exports are down in 2021, yet some regions are showing promising signs of recovery, especially Scotland, Wales, the North East of England and the West Midlands.

The share of exports destined for non-EU markets is increasing in most regions, with particularly strong growth in London. As the UK increases opportunities around the globe, it is also important for the sector to improve the implementation of the UK-EU trade agreement, as the EU remains the largest market for all regions.

This report shows the importance of the food and drink sector in every region of the UK, and support for our sector would deliver growth and jobs in every region, aiding the government’s levelling up agenda.

Trade snapshot: Full Year 2021


The FDF’s newly released 2021 Trade Snapshot analyses trends for UK food and drink trade in 2021.

Non-EU markets showed signs of recovery from 2020’s losses, with exports up from 2020 levels, and imports higher than in 2019. Exports to most regions increased in 2021, with Central and South America up more than 62%. Since 2020, total imports are down around 4%, however imports from non-EU markets have increased 6.5%.

We have seen a strong rebound for exports to Israel and East Asia. This was helped by the updated UK-Japan agreement which came into force in 2021. UK Government also plans to renegotiate the continuity trade agreement with Israel, improving market access for UK exporters.

Following a large fall in Q1 2021, trade with the EU partially recovered later in the year, though it remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels. Exports to the EU were 12.0% lower than 2020 and 15.5% lower than 2019.

Support for members for import controls from 1 January 2022

FDF’s offices will close next week (23 December) until the Tuesday 4 January 2022. During this time members should direct any urgent queries regarding changes to import controls to customs@fdf.org.uk which will be monitored during the holidays.

We are reviewing your query and aim to provide a response within 2 days. Meanwhile, please see below some guidance and useful links which may be of use:

FDF Guidance:

FDF’s five step guide to importing from the EU from 1 January 2022

FDF’s Customs partner Unsworth:

FDF has partnered with freight forwarder Unsworth to help support members to import and export to the EU. If your question is urgent, you can also contact Unsworth at ag@unsworth.uk

Unsworth is our recommended customs broker and have offered to assist our members with advice and urgent customs clearances during the holiday period.


FDF Briefing on Northern Ireland - Article 16

Following the talks between the UK and EU over revising the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the repeated threats by the UK FDF has produced a briefing on the use of Article 16 safeguard mechanism in the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The briefing includes:

  1. Procedure to trigger Article 16
  2. Link to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement
  3. Scenarios for the UK's use of Article 16
  4. Possible EU responses to the UK's triggering of Article 16

Contact Luke.hindlaugh@fdf.org.uk with any questions.

FDF Exporter of the Year Award – Entries are now open!

Is your company entering new markets, creating targeted products or growing sales in established markets?

Enter the FDF Awards – Exporter of the Year category before 28 February 2022, for your chance to win. It’s completely free to enter!

View the full criteria

Find out more about the FDF Awards

Related topics

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Ukraine crisis

We're urgently working with FDF member companies in our sector to understand the impact of the sanctions imposed on Russia. Businesses want to do the right thing in ensuring they abide by the measures taken by governments in response to Russian aggression. 

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EU rules on composite products

New requirements for exporting products to the EU which include ingredients of animal origin come into effect on 21 April 2021. This resource will help members understand the new rules on Composite Products and ensure you stay informed and up to date with the changes needed.

borders and customs

Borders and customs

The FDF ensures that its members are informed of what is required of them at the border, and represents members’ views to the Government, to ensure that the UK’s borders are as frictionless as possible.



The FDF works with government and other stakeholders to promote the sector’s success in exporting and encourage more food and drink manufacturers to export.


EU exit

The FDF produces a range of resources to help guide companies through the complexities arising as the UK leaves the EU. This includes our Brexit Roadmap resource. The FDF also runs various Brexit-related committees.


Trade negotiations

The FDF is committed to ensuring that the sector’s priorities are at the heart of these negotiations, so that UK food and drink producers can access key markets with reduced trade barriers and tariffs.

Report: Trade snapshot: Full year 2021

18 March 2022

The FDF’s newly released 2021 Trade Snapshot analyses trends for UK food and drink trade in 2021.

Read more

EU customs and trade support

We have been working to put in place a range of solutions that will help members moving goods into and out of the EU. This includes a programme of training courses, free expert guidance, customs support and staffing assistance.

Read more

Report: Eating into household budgets: the Government’s recipe for food price inflation

20 July 2021

The report looks at the impact on industry and consumer food prices of seven different policies coming from either the sustainability or public health policy arenas.

Read more

Webinar: The future of imports: what you need to do to keep your goods moving

10 September 2021

Listen to this webinar for a full insight into the future of imports from the EU into the UK and what key guidance you need to know in order to continue trading without friction.

Read more