Exports of food and drink products by UK exporters have risen above pre-pandemic levels.
Data from the Food and Drink Federation found that exports to non-EU countries rose 16.2% in the first three months of the year, almost 11% higher than in Q1 2019.
Total non-EU exports of food and drink are now worth a record £2.3bn, with sales to Australia, Canada, India, Japan and the US showing the most growth. Beef exports rose 80%, with whiskey, chocolate and gin also seeing sustained growth.
Whilst food and drink exports to the EU still remain higher at £3bn, the rise in sales further afield may be a sign that UK firms are starting to broaden their horizons in the wake of Brexit.
The FDF predicts that further growth is on the cards, with the UK-Japan trade agreement already signed and new deals with Australia and New Zealand on the cards.
Read more: 5 ways the crisis in Ukraine is impacting international trade
Association director of the FDF, Nicola Thomas, noted that: “Such strong growth highlights how with widespread economic and political instability around the world, a renewed focus on exporting is a crucial risk-mitigation strategy for UK Food and Drink companies in 2022.”
EU still a major market
Despite Brexit, the EU trading bloc remains a core and critical market for many exporting firms, and the pandemic, war in Ukraine and the UK’s departure from the European Union have caused massive upheaval for import/export businesses.
We’ve created a free checklist you can download to help navigate the choppy post-Brexit waters – ideal if your organisation has limited experience with customs declarations, licenses, VAT on imports or rules of origin.