Eurozone driving growth in food and drink exports

The Eurozone may be slipping towards a recession but UK food and drink exporters are bucking the trend and finding significant business opportunities in the area.

In the first quarter of 2008, UK food and drink exports continued to soar, up 13.2% on the same period in 2007 to reach a record-breaking £2,892.2 million, highlighting the continued growth and success of British food and drink abroad.
Historically the EU has
presented exciting opportunities for manufacturers to develop business overseas, however this year as a destination market, it is more
appealing than ever.
Exports to The Netherlands, Spain and France increased by 48.2%, 22.7% and 21.7% respectively, leading to an EU market share of over 70%, even surpassing the growth of non-EU markets such as
Russia and the Gulf States.
According to FfB’s head of research Chris Brockman,“This is down to the favourable exchange rate combined with the fact that UK companies are turning to the EU as a tried and tested channel in these tough economic times.
He continued,“This year we are faced with a different financial climate and that obviously has an impact on the international business environment. The fact that members of the Eurozone have come out as the top worldwide export markets is symptomatic of the current UK economic situation.
“It’s very much a case of stick with what you know and whilst that is obviously working for now, it’s not
necessarily the only strategy for long-term success.
It is the popularity of UK meat, beverages and cheese that is driving such significant growth in these European markets. In the Netherlands, for example, the return of British beef to the menu has had a significant impact. Since export restrictions to the country were lifted, sales of beef have made a real comeback.

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