Defra Minister leads delegation of British Food Companies to Russia

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is leading a UK delegation of food and drink companies to World Food Moscow. He is going to fly the flag for Great British food and open up more trade. We’ve increased food and drink exports to Russia by just over 220% since 2000, to over £121 million. But there is still huge potential for us to do more.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “Aspiring entrepreneurs should have every opportunity to realise their ambitions overseas. Demand for UK food and drink in Russia is growing, I will do all I can to ensure we capitalise on this opportunity.”

“I very much want to work with you in Russia, if there is any problem with paper work or documentation I’m absolutely clear that we, at Defra, are here to help. Only by working together are we able to increase exports as we need to.”

Click here for more information about Owen Paterson’s visit to Russia and Defra’s role in food exports.

Click here to see the video Owen Paterson sent to delegates in advance of their trip.


We are delighted that some of the British businesses exhibiting have agreed to share their experiences with Open to Exports.

Case study: Clipper Tea “Our adventurousness has been rewarded”

Created in a Dorset kitchen in 1984, Clipper Teas is now the UK’s sixth biggest tea brand, in 2012 joining the Kallo Foods Limited group. In 1994 it launched the nation’s first ever Fairtrade tea and nearly 20 years later, remains the UK market leader in Fairtrade and organic tea.

Export sales represent 20% of group turnover with products currently sold in 45 countries. In the first six months of 2013 exports grew by 36% while the 2012 full year increase was 40% above 2011. Export growth is vitally important to their business and it has allowed Clipper Teas to invest over £1millon in capital expenditure upgrading its manufacturing facility in Beaminster.

Their main challenge has been finding international market partners with equal passion for their products, who are also able to replicate the UK brand strategy abroad.

Offering advice to other SMEs seeking to grow export sales, Clipper Teas say that businesses must be prepared to take risks and must not be afraid to challenge partners who are not delivering. They point out that sometimes it is necessary to take one step backwards in order to take two steps forward. Patrick Cairns, CEO of Kallo Foods Limited, said: “The great thing about export is that the potential is virtually limitless. Over time our adventurousness has been rewarded, with overseas markets becoming a vital, dynamic element of our growth and profitability.”

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Case Study: Hawkshead Relish Company “Exporting is a valuable growth route for large and small companies”

Award winning handmade preserve and condiment company, Hawkshead Relish Company, use locally inspired traditional recipes with innovative creations. Husband and wife Mark Whitehead (MD) and Maria received MBE’s in 2010 for their contribution to the food industry within Cumbria.

Co-owner and Director Maria Whitehead says “Given that Hawkshead Relish is very much a community based company, we are fervent in our goal to grow business remaining with our region, this is integral in further supporting our rural economy and providing a sustainable future for the local population. Therefore, we have always hoped that by example we can enthuse other companies to follow suit and be confident that exporting can be considered a valuable route for British companies both large and small.” Maria Whitehead sits on Defra’s Export Forum as a representative of SME’s.

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Case Study: JSR Genetics of Driffield – Already successful in Russian Exports

JSR Genetics of Driffield are one of the world’s leaders in porcine genetics with exports to more than sixty countries. They were amongst the first to export breeding pigs when the market re-opened in 2004 for British exports of live pigs. They were able to assist with the huge rebuilding of the Russian pork sector, and Russian has become their largest single market.

Exports culminated in 2007 with the shipment of 27,000 breeding pigs to Russia to populate new pig farms. JSR has now an enviable reputation and place on the Russian porcine genetic market with strong alliances with some key producers.

For information:


Sectors: Food & Drink
Countries: Russia
Topics: Getting Started and Legislation & Regulation
Export Action Plan