By Daniel Hunter
A week dedicated to inspiring and supporting food and drink small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to grow an international market for their products has launched today (Monday).
International trade website Open to Export is collaborating with government and industry bodies to launch the week which will also help prepare UK businesses ahead of Anuga, the world’s largest trade fair for the industry.
Partners in the initiative include the Food & Drink Federation (FDF), the Food & Drink Exporters Association (FDEA), the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
The focal point of the week will be two webinars. The first is on Tuesday 24th September featuring successful British exporters Hawkshead Relish and Typhoo Tea candidly sharing their experiences of international growth, and providing advice to other businesses. The second is on Thursday 26th featuring Defra, UKTI and the online trading platform itradein, offering an overview of the support landscape with a focus on documentation and routes to market.
Lord Green, Trade and Investment Minister said:
“The UK’s food and drink sector is one of the most sophisticated and dynamic in the world, making this an ideal investment location for overseas companies.
This collaboration is a great example of what Open to Export was set up to achieve — bringing together experts from across government and the private sector to find innovative ways to engage with the UK's future exporters and inspire and support SMEs to grow their business abroad.”
The webinars will be supported by a range of new content on Open to Export including unseen case studies, exporting guides, an events calendar and links to organisations which can help.
The initiative will be complemented later in the year by the launch of UK Trade & Investment’s Food is GREAT campaign and the Food and Drink International Action Plan — the government’s long-term export strategy for boosting the growth of the sector.
Companies wishing to join the webinars and access the exclusive featured content can do so free of charge by visiting: www.opentoexport.com/theme/food&drink
David Heath, Minister of State for Agriculture & Food said:
“I think this sort of government-industry collaboration is exactly what we need to help drive export growth. I’m am very grateful to all involved and I would certainly recommend that companies sign up.”
Melanie Leech, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation said:
“We are proud to contribute to this fantastic joint-initiative aimed at helping SMEs drive forward their exports. Our research shows that a proactive approach to exports brings high growth for SMEs. Exporting can go on to account for as much as one fifth of their turnover. We are strong supporters of SMEs in the UK food and drink manufacturing sector and hope that they will take advantage of this free expertise on offer to help them realise their untapped growth potential.”
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