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15 May 2012
Today, the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for Food and Drink Manufacturing met to discuss how food and drink exports can be a significant driver for economic growth, and the important role Government can play in helping the sector achieve its potential.
The group heard from Food and Drink Federation (FDF) president and managing director of General Mills, Jim Moseley, who gave them an overview of the role of exports in FDF’s shared vision with government to grow the sector by 20% by 2020. Nick Baird, chief executive of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), presented an overview of the work UKTI is doing to promote food and drink exports.
The meeting also provided a showcase exhibition for successful exporting companies. Represented were FDF members Devro, Dorset Cereals, Elizabeth Shaw, Nestlé, Typhoo, United Biscuits and Vimto, who had the opportunity to speak to parliamentarians directly, and to highlight what they need to continue their export success.
Last year, exports of food and drink grew for a seventh successive year, totalling £12.1bn an increase of 11.4% on the previous year. In partnership with government, FDF is working to improve the support for exporting businesses, to help them achieve their exports potential and help grow the economy.
John Stevenson MP chair of the all-party parliamentary food and drink manufacturing group said: “Exports have the potential to make a significant contribution to the growth of British food and drink manufacturing, and to the UK economy. It is great to have the opportunity to meet with businesses who have successfully tapped into new markets to sell their products and who have developed trading relationships with retailers abroad.
“There is a shared aspiration between industry and government to maximise our export potential and to create the right environment for businesses to sell to other countries which will both strengthen our economy and create growth in the industry.”
FDF president and managing director of General Mills, Jim Moseley said: “Exports are a key part of our joint vision with government to grow our sector 20% by 2020. We firmly believe our sector has great potential for exports growth and that our SMEs, who are the backbone of our sector, can make a significant contribution to this success in the right supportive business environment. It is a privilege to get to meet companies of all sizes who have been able to secure lucrative contracts and take their products forward in to new and established markets. British products are in high demand so let's make sure we get them in to international shopping baskets.”
Nick Baird, chief executive of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) said: “With an established reputation for quality products and world class brands, the food and drink industry has tremendous potential to continue to grow its exports. UKTI is committed to helping businesses develop new markets and I welcome the continued work by government and the food industry, jointly with UKTI, to deliver the right support for businesses to exploit new opportunities.”