Ahead of the Open to Export Food and Drink feature month in September, the FDF give us an update on their work towards increasing the UK’s value-added exports in the sector. With the FDF and the FDEA, we are currently planning content for this autumn’s feature and we will be letting you know these plans shortly.
The first half of 2016 has seen a buzz of activity from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA). Following on from the launch of FDF’s ambition at the end of 2015 to increase value added exports of food and drink by a third by 2020, FDF and FDEA launched a mission statement of more collaborative working to help ensure this target is reached, and to support the government’s target to grow exports.
‘FDF and FDEA are committed to working together more closely in order to support existing food and drink exporters in growing their sales overseas while helping and encouraging more companies to begin their export journey.’ – As part of this collaborative effort, FDF will focus on championing British food and drink exports and FDEA will offer practical advice and services with real benefits for new and existing exporters.
This close partnership enabled us to make the full year 2015 statistical snapshot more detailed than ever, providing specific trends and growth rates for branded goods more relevant to members of both FDF and FDEA. This in turn generated a lot of case studies and media coverage raising the overall profile of the industry and the success of vale added goods having grown for fifteen consecutive years.
New export guidance was successfully re-written and re-designed in a joint effort with FDEA in April 2016. It was launched at the first collaborative event – a networking session at Food and Drink Expo run with the support of UKTI. The reception was well attended exceeding expectations with around 90 attendees and the guide has since received positive feedback and approval from the Cabinet Office, Defra and other stakeholders and members.
FDF’s Competitiveness team and FDEA attended the first week of the International Festival of Business (IFB2016) in Liverpool. As part of the manufacturing week, UKTI hosted a Food and Drink e-Commerce Summit. The event was opened by Trade and Investment Minister Lord Price who highlighted the global appetite for British food and drink, and the strong reputation enjoyed by UK manufacturers overseas.
FDF hosted a table of members with a keen export interest at the FDEA Export dinner. FDF’s Corporate Affairs Director Tim Rycroft hosted a workshop as part of the FDEA Global Insights event the following day talking delegates through the global challenges posed by fiscal measures, including food and drink taxes, intended to help tackle obesity. The FDEA event included exporter case studies, a workshop programme as well as the opportunity for producers to meet one to one with 22 buyers from countries such as the UAE, Germany, Turkey, India and Ireland.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2016, the FDF team have met Defra’s Great British Food Unit to discuss the new export action plan. The Great British Food Unit will be focussing its activities over the next five years in its recently announced nine Sector Campaigns to raise the value of F&D exports to North America, China, India, Japan, France, Germany, Latin America, the Gulf and Australia/New Zealand. FDF and FDEA’s continued collaboration will be important to support these Government initiatives and to drive FDEA’s programme of activity for exporters.
Latest figures for Q1 2016 show continued strong growth for branded goods, while overall exports are recovering from the decline seen in 2015. FDF plans to survey members in July on exports and we will publish half year export data in August in partnership with FDEA. In the autumn we intend to collaborate again to run the annual Food and Drink Feature with Open to Export for 2016 with dates and content to be confirmed.