The value of UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports has dropped, reaching a total of £6bn in the first six months of the year – a fall of 5.3% on the same period in 2014.

 The figures released by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) show that the value of exports to the EU shrank by 7.5% in the first half of the year. The rise of Pound Sterling against the sharply depreciated Euro has made UK exports less competitive in key Eurozone markets.

 Exports to non-EU markets continued to grow (+1%) and value added goods were up globally, with significant increases of exports of tomato ketchup (+£3m) and bread, pastry & cakes (+£7m). Confectionery exports to Canada were also up £7m.

 Dairy exports saw losses of £157m on record highs in the same period last year, however exports remain above pre-2014 levels and exported volumes are up for both processed and unprocessed milk and cream. Similarly, fish and seafood exports lost £137m in value, largely as a result of a sharp fall in salmon exports.

To help food and drink companies crack the exporting journey and understand which markets offer the best growth opportunities in the current economic climate, FDF, Food & Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) and online export community Open to Export are launching The Food & Drink Export Feature on Monday 7 September.

 A joint initiative between Open to Export, Government and industry, the Food & Drink Feature will run from 7 – 22 September. The initiative will include webinars, expert advice on currency issues, trade shows and niche markets, as well as case studies from successful
exporters. Live webinars will include:

  • Ask the Experts –      Live Currency Q&A – 9 September;
  • Finding Your Niche –      16 September;
  • Business Opportunities      for British Companies in Australia, featuring Coles, one of Australia’s      largest supermarket chains – 22 September.

Content will be available at and


FDF’s Economics & Commercial Services Director Steve Barnes commented:

“Food and drink has been bucking the trend when it comes to exports for years and the value of the sector’s exports is still declining less than UK exports overall. However, we are starting to see the negative effect of exchange rates, particularly in Eurozone which remains the key destination for UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports.

“The good news is that volumes in many categories are still up and exports of value added goods to both EU and to non-EU countries are rising. Exports continue to be a key area of growth for food and drink companies and we hope that businesses will make use of the raft of free materials and expert advice during the upcoming Food & Drink Feature on Open to Export.”

Elsa Fairbanks, Director of the FDEA commented: 

“Our latest export survey revealed that although the strength of sterling is a growing concern, FDEA members continue to see growth potential across Asia and the Middle East as well as established markets in North America and the EU. Success is coming both from traditional products like cheddar cheese (up £20 million globally) and innovative products in the health and wellbeing categories.”


Key Indicators,   January to June 2015




H1 2014

H1 2015

% change

Food &   non-alcoholic drink




EU 28








EU % share



Non-EU % share



Trade balance




Exports   by Sector, January to June 2015



% Change

H1 2014 

H1 2015 


Other Groceries




Cereals & Bakery




Meat/Animal Products












Sugar/Chocolate & Confectionery




Fruit & Veg




Non-Alcoholic Drinks




Tea, Coffee, Cocoa Powder




Source of Data: HMRC


For the full exports report, more information or interviews, please
contact the FDF press office on

020 7420 7140 /

Note to Editors:

  1. 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 FDFand the industry we represent, visit:
  2. Full export report is available at
  3. Case studies are also available featuring successful British exporters
  4. The Food & Drink Export Feature is running from 7 – 22 September on Open to Export: help food and drink businesses boost exports
    1. To register for the ‘Business Opportunities for British Companies in Australia’ webinar visit; to register for other webinars visit
    2. Open to Export is the Government supported free, online community for UK companies looking to grow internationally. It brings together experts from across the private sector and Government agencies to help small and medium-sized UK businesses successfully enter international markets:
    3. FDF is also hosting ‘How to successfully export in the Food & Drink Industry’ event on 19 October to help SMEs crack the exporting journey:
Sectors: Dairy Products, Food & Drink, and Food & Drink Manufacturing
Countries: Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe
Topics: Market Research
Export Action Plan