UK exports of cakes and biscuits increased significantly in 2008, according to the latest report by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

The data, supplied by Leatherhead Food International, showed exports of UK biscuits shot up by 15% to £204 million and cakes weren’t far behind, up 12% to £156.5m.

Canada, Australia and The Netherlands were some of the biggest importers of sweet biscuits, with the UK seeing export growth of 36%, 39% and 27% respectively.

Exports to Ireland accounted for 57% of all UK cake exports, up 5.8%. However, exports to The Netherlands and France saw some of the strongest EU cake export growth, up by 26% and 35% respectively.

Bulgaria and Poland have both significantly increased their imports of bakery, cakes and biscuits, by 302% and 226% (£3.6m) respectively.

The FDF said that total exports of food and non-alcoholic drinks “hit record levels”, with an overall increase of 19.6% – to reach a value of £9.2 billion.

The popularity of British products in central regions has underpinned the overall growth, with demand strong in the former Eastern Bloc countries, it added.

For the full story, see next week’s issue of British Baker – out 19 June.