UK food and non-alcoholic drink exports have almost doubled in value over the past 10 years, growing 2.6% in 2014 to £12.8bn.
The figures are to be announced today by George Eustice, parliamentary under secretary of state for farming, food and the marine environment at the International Food Exhibition (IFE) held at ExCeL in London. He will also announce that exports of UK dairy are at a record high, up 8.8% to £1.4bn and the sector as a whole has “continuously outperformed on exports”.
The report from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) showed 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.
Steve Barnes, FDF’s economic and commercial services director, said: “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.”
Eustice said: “Today’s new figures are further evidence of the global appetite for our top-quality British food, which was worth a record £103bn 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.”