UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports grew by 2.6 per cent in 2014, almost doubling in value over the past ten years.
The food and non-alcoholic drink sector has continuously outperformed on exports, growing strongly even throughout the recession. Exports of UK dairy are at a record high, up 8.8 per cent to £1.4 billion.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and Marine Environment, George Eustice announced the news on Monday 23 March at the International Food Exhibition (IFE) held at ExCeL London.
The report from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) shows that food and non-alcoholic drink exports continued growing to non-EU countries, up 9 per cent on last year, with double digit growth in the United States and China.
The EU remains the UK’s biggest market for food and drink exports. The top three product categories last year were salmon, chocolate and cheese. Cheese exports were up 5.6 per cent and make up a third of the overall dairy exports.
Food and non-alcoholic drink exports have almost doubled in value over the last decade, from £6.5 billion in 2004 to £12.8 billion in 2014*.
FDF’s Economic and Commercial Services Director Steve Barnes commented:
“This performance shows that British food and drink is in demand across the globe – a testament to our quality brands and innovative products. Food and drink is bucking the trend when it comes to exports and this is great news for the UK economy. High demand from international markets for our food and drink must be at the heart of the country’s strategy for economic growth and we look forward to working with the Government to capitalise on this opportunity”.
Farming Minister George Eustice said:
“Today’s new figures are further evidence of the global appetite for our top-quality British food which was worth a record £103 billion to the UK economy in 2013. It is particularly encouraging to see UK dairy exports at a record high as our farmers seize new opportunities to export abroad and grow their business.”
The full report is available here.
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK’s largest manufacturing sector.
*The 2014 exports report is collated by FDF from HMRC, based on an adjusted trade code classification system. Figures for previous years have been adjusted to align with the re-categorised system in the 2014 report but previously published FDF exports reports cannot be compared like for like.