Food and Drink International Action Plan: Andrea Leadsom encourages export growth

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural affairs Andrea Leadsom has published the UK Food and Drink: International Action Plan from 2016 to 2020 – outlining the encouragement for export growth in the baking industry.

The plan sets out how government and the industry will work to create opportunities and increase capability for UK exporters over the next five years.

It has been developed jointly with the government and the industry, including trade associations and companies.

The report used Scottish manufacturer Nairn’s, which supplies oat-based products including oatcakes, crackers and biscuits, as a case study for its success in the export market.

Martyn Gray, managing director for Nairn’s, said: “We see great opportunities in the continued development of our export markets. The key for us is developing long-term partnerships with local importers. We have set very challenging targets to grow the proportion of exports within our total business.”

Nairn’s focus is to develop new markets, capitalising on the global development of the free-from trend.

The company’s exports account for approximately 10% of turnover and sales have increased by around 20% year on year, in line with its strategic export ambitions. Acceptance of gluten-free oats has been challenging in some markets, but gluten-free is quickly becoming the most successful range internationally.

Nairn’s most successful export markets are the USA, Canada, New Zealand, UAE, South Africa and Cyprus.

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