12 December 2013
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) will today join forces to toast the UK's top exporters at FDEA's annual Network Forum. The event, at London's Plaisterers' Hall, will this year feature a keynote speech by the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
A vital driver of economic growth, food and drink is the UK's largest manufacturing sector and one where exports are high on the agenda for both Government and industry. In September, FDF, FDEA and UK Trade & Investment teamed up for the first ever Open to Export Food and Drink Focus Week. October saw the launch of Government's new International Action Plan for UK food and drink exports while last week saw the UK's largest ever official trade delegation to China.
The Secretary of State will be joined by industry speakers including FDF's Economic and Commercial Services Director, Steve Barnes who will provide insight into how UK food and drink exporters have fared in 2013, with the latest FDF figures revealing growth of 3.4% for the year to date – and particularly strong growth outside the EU (+11%).
Targeted effort will be required to further grow UK food and drink exports, in particular to European neighbours. Today's event is just one of many ways in which FDF, FDEA and Government are supporting UK food and drink businesses with their export journeys. Leading exporters, Tyrrells Crisps, Fever Tree, Fisherman's Friend, Suma Wholefoods and Mrs Crimbles will also give presentations, drawing upon their own export experiences.
The Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, and event keynote speaker said:
“The food and drink industry is our largest manufacturing sector, contributing a staggering £96.1 billion to the economy last year and employing nearly 4 million people.
“I want to build on this success and there's huge potential for UK producers to expand by exporting more of our excellent products to overseas markets. That's why I launched the 'International Exports Action Plan' and 'Food is GREAT' campaign which will help 1,000 UK food and drink companies grow their businesses and boost our economy.”
FDF's Economic and Commercial Services Director, Steve Barnes, said:
“I can't think of a better way to round off the year than getting together with our industry's top exporters to celebrate success in 2013 – and giving other businesses a chance to learn from this. We're delighted that the Secretary of State is coming to show his support for food and drink exports moving into 2014 and we look forward to working with Government on the Action Plan. ”
FDEA's Director, Elsa Fairbanks, said:
“Our annual event is a must-attend for exporters and potential exporters alike. The market insights and networking opportunities on offer help delegates review their export plans and have the confidence to seek out new markets.”
“FDEA's on-going event programme includes organising UK pavilions at international trade fairs around the world, offering practical support and advice to exporters, and conducting research into new trends and opportunities in markets around the world, including regular contact with buyers. These are all key tools in building on the sector's strong export performance.”
Notes for editors:
- The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit: www.fdf.org.uk
- The Food & Drink Exporters Association is the UK trade association dedicated to food and drink exporters. For more information about FDEA and the Annual Network Forum, visit: www.ukfdea.com
- This year's Network Forum will highlight the opportunities available in new markets. IGD's Vicky Santini, an expert on Asian retail, will offer analysis of premium global retailers, with advice on which retailers and markets to watch. Integration Consulting's Janaina Roque, a market expert on Latin America, will assess the export potential of this largely untapped market for UK food and drink: www.integrationconsulting.com
- Earlier this year, FDF and FDEA collaborated on a guide for SMEs, '10 Steps to Export Success', available as a free download
- FDF working with FDEA publishes half-year and full-year export reports, which are available to view or download. A copy of FDF's 9 month 2013 export report is available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org