Warrens has seen orders for its Christmas puddings rocket, as the value of the pound against the euro has dropped further still. The Cornish firm which only exported around 500-600 Christmas puddings in 2008 has seen this figure leap to an estimated 4,000-5,000 for 2009.
Its seasonal export of puddings includes an order for more than 2,000 from a Dutch company Taartje met een Hartje that Warrens made contact with at the recent Iba show in November, resulting in a deal worth £6,000.
Product development manager Jason Jobling said the increasingly weak pound is a key factor in the recent rise in orders from abroad. Warrens exports its puddings to several countries, including Australia and America. Jobling said that orders often come from areas that house large numbers of ex-pats. He explained that a lot of UK miners emigrated to countries such as Australia and South Africa, when the tin mines closed in Cornwall. As well as Christmas puddings, Warrens exports its pasties to Ireland and Battenburg cake to America.
Simon Waring, MD of export consultancy group Green Seed, explained that bakery export figures are very healthy overall. "In the last six months, figures have been the most positive we’ve ever seen," he said.
In October this year, the Food and Drink Federation announced that exports of sweet biscuits were up 12.4% to £95.2m in the first six months of 2009.
"Generally the environment is very positive and a lot of that has been fuelled by currency rates, but also, UK businesses are seeking more international customers," said Waring. "Bakery has always been an area that has under-exploited its strength internationally, so there are still big opportunities for biscuits and cakes, for example."