Today, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has reported that UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports have continued to grow in 2012, rising to £5.9bn in the first six months of the year – an increase of 2.2 per cent on the same period in 2011.
FDF’s latest update also found that exports to all non-EU regions, apart from those surrounding the Eurozone, were in growth of over 7 per cent. The EU fared less well with a rise of 0.7 per cent, largely due to the Eurozone debt crisis which has resulted in sharp falls in exports to some key markets, namely France and Italy.
Outside of the EU, the strongest gains were in Africa (+23.6 per cent) and the Middle East (+17.7 per cent). Within the Middle East there were significant increases in exports to the United Arab Emirates, which rose 37.8 per cent to £80m, due to strong demand for chocolate (+169 per cent) and fish and seafood (+151 per cent).
FDF’s Economic and Commercial Services Director, Steve Barnes, said:
“Once again, UK food and drink exports have proven themselves to be an important component of both our industry, and the country’s economic growth, and an area in which we can excel.
“This is why we are working with Government and others to remove barriers and to strengthen support for food and drink companies looking to export.”
“Our brands have strong reputations in international markets and it is a credit to our manufacturers that despite difficulties experienced in many key EU markets, they have continued to drive forward sales by making in-roads into new markets.”