EU nations Ireland, France, the Netherlands and Germany were noted as key trading partners and the European Economic Area remains the market with the greatest perceived potential for the industry, according to a report commissioned by the Food and Drink Federation.
Conducted by Grant Thornton, China, India and the UAE are seen as the top three markets that businesses surveyed would like to target.
The report recommends the following to the UK government:
– Work with education providers across the UK to increase availability of food and drink manufacturing specific apprenticeship training,
– Enhance the image of the food and drink industry and raise awareness of the range of career opportunities on offer,
– Prioritize food and drink as the UK’s largest manufacturing industry in relation to any new immigration policy,
– Work with industry to reduce product sugar levels and take an holistic approach to calorie reformulation,
– Further facilitate innovation through support for fundamental and applied research,
– Encourage more food and drink manufacturers to export to help grow the UK’s 2.2% share of the global food and drink export market, and
– Work in partnership with industry to scale-up its provision of specialist export support for food and drink and identify distributors in untapped markets.