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It’s all about SME


UK small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are thriving, with growth and start up business rates said to be returning to pre crisis levels. According to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, SMEs contribute £1.2 trillion to the UK each year.

Towards the end of 2016, commercial law firm EMW reported that UK SME food and drink manufacturers’ profit margins had grown to 6.8 per cent over the past year – up from 6.1 per cent in 2014/15 and just 3.1 per cent in 2013/14. EMW says the artisan food boom is a contributor to this profitability, with consumers increasingly willing to pay premium prices for products seen as being higher in quality.

At last week’s IFE show, which took place at the ExCeL in London, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) responded to demand from SMEs by unveiling a new ‘small business membership’. It says the offering has been launched in response to a significant increase in interest in FDF membership among SMEs since the vote to leave the EU.

Nicki Hunt, membership director at FDF, says, “SMEs account for a huge proportion of the businesses in our industry. We feel it’s important that these companies have affordable access to some of the same expertise as their larger counterparts and can be part of a shared industry voice.

“These businesses are the backbone to our sector; their success is key to ensure our industry thrives.”

SMEs face the same challenges as large, blue chip companies – such as rising material costs and access to a skilled workforce – it’s essential they receive the same support.

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