Export news in brief: food, drink, guidance, Brexit, referendum

Export news in brief
Export news in brief

Guide to exporting for food and drink manufacturers

New guidance rolled out to food and drink manufacturers will help existing and would-be exporters to compete in the fiercely competitive global marketplace.

‘Exports – Five Steps to Food and Drink Exporting Success’ was developed by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) as part of an enhanced partnership to help more of Britain’s 6,500 producers to export. The guide provides useful information and tips on how food and drink manufacturers can begin exporting to foreign markets including details of necessary research, and how to create exporting opportunities and useful contacts.

FDF competitiveness director Angela Coleshill said: “Our guide gives manufacturers the information they need to access new markets and begin their journey as successful exporters. FDF is committed to working with FDEA to help the UK’s food and drink manufacturers compete on an international level.

“At present only a relatively small proportion of food and drink businesses export from the UK. We want to unlock our industry’s huge export potential by helping more of Britain’s finest manufacturers to seize the opportunity to sell their products overseas. By doing this, we believe we can grow exports of UK branded goods by a third by 2020 to more than £6bn.”

UK SMEs hesitant to make long-term commitments in the face of EU uncertainty

Uncertainty around the outcome of the EU referendum is leaving UK SMEs reluctant to commit to long-term contracts, leaving £35.6bn in international payments potentially exposed to currency swings.

This is according to World First’s inaugural quarterly Global Trade Barometer, which combines World First’s own data and a YouGov survey of 730 UK SMEs. The report reveals how exchange rate fluctuations affect UK businesses with 1 in 4 reporting a negative impact in Q1 2016 and 15% stating that volatility has impacted investment decisions to support growth.

Historically, UK SMEs have enjoyed the protection of longer-term forward contracts to hedge against currency movements for an extended period. However, World First data from Q1 shows a bucking of this trend due to fears over a so-called Brexit. Despite the 75% increase in sterling volatility, SMEs have only extended the length of protection by 35% across the same period, leaving many SMEs unhedged during a time of considerable volatility in the wake of the EU referendum.