In a move welcomed by manufacturers across the country, Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice today (January 27) launched the Exports Action Plan to help boost exports from the UK.
The plan, overseen by a Forum co-chaired by Jim Paice and Food and Drink Federation (FDF) deputy president and chief executive of Nestlé UK Paul Grimwood, shifts the focus to emerging economies and highlights exports as a key route to growth. It identifies a number of actions to boost exports including removing trade barriers and encouraging and putting in place measures to help SMEs export their goods.
The food and drink industry has welcomed the plan, which FDF director-general Melanie Leech said contains “many common-sense actions that can be taken forward in a relatively short timescale to deliver results as well as those initiatives that are more complex and longer term.”
Ms Leech added that the FDF will review the progress of the food and drink industry in a year, and said that she hoped the plan will make a significant contribution to yet another year of record exports and to the FDF’s overall vision for industry growth.
The FDF cites a number of case studies in which the Export Action Plan has already helped a number of SMEs in their export efforts.
Caroline Spelman, the secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) called on British food manufacturers earlier this month to make the most of the ‘Made in Britain’ brand their products carried. She emphasized the need to take advantage of the growing middle class in China: “I was in China to see the UK win a top award at Expo 2012 when the Premier Wen Jiabo shared his concern with me about food safety in China and acknowledged UK expertise in this area.”