Policies for the new Government to deliver a thriving food and drink industry

Turbo charge sector-specific exports support to help smaller firms take advantage of new opportunities.

UK food and drink exports are a national success story. Demand for our products has grown consistently and our exports now total more than £20 billion each year. UK products are increasingly competitive overseas. This is helping to highlight the excellence of UK manufacturing, while acting as a shop window that showcases the UK as a modern and innovative food tourism destination of choice across the world.

With only 20 percent of food and drink manufacturers actively exporting, we know there is huge untapped potential among SMEs to meet rising demand. We are looking for the next Government to work with us so our firms are ready to take advantage of growing demand, including new opportunities in non-EU countries. This can help prepare the UK's wider food chain for a more competitive future outside the CAP.

The biggest barrier to exploiting this potential is the fragmentation of specialist export support in the UK. SMEs in other countries typically benefit from more generous sector-specific support, with a single point of contact making support easier to access. We are calling on the new Government to work in partnership with our industry to scale-up its provision of specialist export support in food and drink to take advantage of increased demand for UK products overseas and the opportunities that leaving the EU is expected to create.

Access to market research is also important for ensuring exporters are successful. This information is all too often out of reach for UK SMEs. We want Government to fund a pilot 'Food and Drink Export Academy' focusing on SME businesses to help us address a gap in the provision of food and drink-specific export training and guidance.

We call on the next Government to:

  • Work in partnership with our industry to scale-up its provision of specialist export support in food and drink to take advantage of increased demand for UK products overseas and the opportunities that leaving the EU is expected to create. This can help prepare the UK's wider food chain for a more competitive future outside the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
  • Fund a pilot 'Food and Drink Export Academy' focusing on SME businesses to help us address a gap in the provision of food and drink-specific export training and guidance.

Next page: Support our ambition for an industrial strategy sector deal which drives transformational industry growth, so we can continue to provide consumers with great choice and quality products.


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Last reviewed: 08 Aug 2017