UK food and drink export growth

UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports grew by 2.6% in 2014, almost doubling in value over the past ten years – from £6.5 billion in 2004 to £12.8 billion in 2014. The sector has continuously outperformed on exports, growing strongly even throughout the recession. Exports of UK dairy are at a record high, up 8.8% to £1.4 billion.

The report, from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), shows that food and non-alcoholic drink exports continued growing to non-EU countries, up 9% on last year, with double digit growth in the US and China.

The EU remains the UK’s biggest market for food and drink exports. The top three product categories last year were salmon, chocolate and cheese; cheese exports were up 5.6% and make up a third of the overall dairy exports.

FDF’s economic and commercial services director, Steve Barnes, comments, “This performance shows that British food and drink is in demand across the globe – a testament to our quality brands and innovative products. Food and drink is bucking the trend when it comes to exports and this is great news for the UK economy. High demand from international markets for our food and drink must be at the heart of the country’s strategy for economic growth and we look forward to working with the government to capitalise on this opportunity.”

Parliamentary under secretary of state for farming, food and marine environment, George Eustice, adds, “The new figures are further evidence of the global appetite for our top quality British food, which was worth a record £103 billion to the UK economy in 2013. It is particularly encouraging to see UK dairy exports at a record high as our farmers seize new opportunities to export abroad and grow their business.”

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