Trade Minister Champions Record Food and Drink Exports at Hull Events

  • Trade Minister and the UK’s leading Food and Drink body FDF lead a delegation to Yorkshire, to shine a light on the region’s leading food and drink exporters
  • Local businesses enjoy exporting masterclasses from government trade advisers
  • UK food and drink exports see their strongest start to a year ever, as exports rose to a record £5.7bn in the first quarter of 2019, the largest value of food and drink exports ever for an opening quarter of the year.

Yorkshire’s excellence in exporting food and drink has been recognised at a two-day event involving Graham Stuart MP, Minister for Investment, visiting Hull manufacturers and hosting local firms at an event to celebrate the region’s food and drink exporters.

The Trade Minister and Mark Robson, head of regions for Yorkshire at DIT, led a delegation visiting two major Hull food and drink exporters - oils and fats manufacturer AAK, and tea and coffee producer Finlays.

The visit came as UK food and drink exports rose to a record £5.7bn in the first quarter of 2019, the largest value of food and drink exports ever for an opening quarter of the year, according to the latest figures from HMRC.

Speaking about his visit Graham Stuart MP, Minister for Investment, said:

“It was great to meet and celebrate local businesses who are contributing so much to our national exporting success.

“In the first three months of this year food and drinks exports nationally grew by 12.3% year on year and reached an all-time high of £5.7 billion. I would encourage food and drink businesses in the Humber area to join the exporting revolution and go to www.great.gov.uk and find out what DIT can do to help.”

The aim of the visits was to gain a first-hand perspective of how each of the major Hull manufacturers were managing a global supply chain sustainably, and how they approached their exporting strategies.

The two-day event also saw local food and drink exporters invited to dinner alongside representatives from the Department for International Trade (DIT), the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and global law firm Squire Patton Boggs. The evening celebrated local produce, with locally manufactured drinks provided by Hull’s Atom Brewing and wines served from Little Wold Vineyard in South Cave.

The following day, a breakfast seminar with Yorkshire businesses, including Harrogate’s Avrox Technologies and Brigg’s Pipers Crisps, took place at the Cave Castle Hotel & Country Club. The session included presentations from DIT International Trade Advisers, who were representing the Food is GREAT campaign. Food is GREAT is the cross departmental initiative between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and DIT to support UK food and drink producers on their exporting journeys.

The ITAs outlined the growing appetite for UK food and drink products overseas, with gin (15% growth), breakfast cereals (12.3% growth), and cheese (9.8% growth) all experiencing increased exports in 2018. Certain markets also saw significant jumps in UK food and drink imports last year, such as Japan (15.1% growth), Australia (12.4% growth) and China (10.3% growth).

Speakers also included co-hosts the FDF, Squire Patton Boggs and Humber LEP, and addressed how to overcome the top three most commonly identified exporting barriers Yorkshire businesses face, including website development, finding contacts overseas and access to finance.

Guests heard about live export opportunities, including demand from South Korean and German buyers searching for UK beer, Indian buyers increasing orders of non-alcoholic UK beers and French buyers demanding a multitude of products from British food and drink manufacturers.

Mark Robson, Head, UK Regions – Yorkshire & the Humber, at the Department for International Trade said:

“Hull is home to some real heavyweights in the international food and drink sector like AAK and Finlays, alongside an abundance of talented smaller producers. These firms have the quality produce that overseas buyers are increasingly hungry for, and there’s plenty of support to help businesses reach these customers – from e-commerce seminars to trade missions.”

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