Exports Action Plan could help food and drink industry grow

Food and farming minister Jim Paice has today launched a plan that it is claimed could help hundreds of companies secure sales in lucrative emerging markets.

The Exports Action Plan, overseen by a forum co-chaired by Jim Paice and FDF deputy president and chief executive of Nestlé UK Paul Grimwood, aims to cut through many of the barriers currently faced by potential exporters and help towards the drive for industry growth of 20 per cent by 2020.

Food and drink exports were valued at £10.8bn in 2010 but are expected to reach almost £12bn when official 2011 figures are released in March.

The plan identifies a number of actions to boost exports, including removing trade barriers; encouraging and putting in place measures to help SMEs export; shifting the focus to emerging economies; and highlighting exporting as the key route to growth.