By Daniel Hunter
Millions of pounds worth of roses, bubbly and chocolates are exported from the UK annually - in time for the most romantic day of the year.
The products, which feature as some of the top Valentine’s gifts, generate around £380 million for the country each year, according to top export organisation UK Trade & Investment.
The rose, a flower often linked to the British Isles, sells around £1.2 million of blooms each year. And a massive 1.9 million bottles of UK sparkling wine worth over £17 million are delivered across the world. But with more than £370m annual exports a year, the top Valentine’s product — is chocolate.
One young chocolate exporter who has been making waves in the business world is Louis Barnett. He has just been invited to join one of the most exclusive chocolate organisations in the world.
The Callebaut Ambassadors’ Club unites around 150 chefs, pastry chefs and confectioners of international reputation. It aims to transfer its chocolate know-how and techniques to other craftsmen all over the world. He set up his own company, Chokolit, at the age of 12 and became the youngest ever supplier to Waitrose at 13, Sainsbury’s at 14 and Selfridges at 15.
In 2007 Louis approached UK Trade & Investment for help in expanding his export business. He soon joined Passport to Export, a UK Trade & Investment programme that gives exporting companies the tools they need to grow their business internationally. Since then he has gone from strength to strength and is exporting to countries such as the USA, Asia and Mexico.
“I have had such an incredible journey, and being invited to become an Ambassador for Callebaut is a real honour," he said.
"I now hope to pass on my skills and knowledge to other young people, in the hope that they too will go on to create great quality chocolate for the UK.”
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice.
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