The Food and Drink Federation and Santander have launched a new report highlighting the growth opportunities and challenges for the food and drink sector for 2020.
The Food and Drink Industry Report 2020 looks in particular at exports and the developing markets of China, India, Japan, UAE and USA, all of which have seen considerable year-on-year growth. Santander’s export team provides analysis of the potential and challenges around each territory together with essential information for any company considering trading with these harder to reach markets.
The report highlights other important issues for the industry including increasing automation. The recent ‘Made Smarter Review’ highlighted a potential £55.8bn value to the sector over the coming decade through digital technology adoption but pointed out that food and drink lags behind other manufacturing industries.
“As the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, contributing £31.1bn to the economy annually and employing 450,000 people, the food & drink industry is a vital element of UK business and output, both domestically and internationally.”
Sustainable packaging and diet and health are also highlighted in the report as areas where industry is committed to making a difference, working alongside or ahead of Government to drive change.
FDF chief executive, Ian Wright, said: “UK food and drink exports have been a singular success in recent years, achieving strong year-on-year growth. But we start from a relatively low base, in that only around one-in-five of our food and drink businesses are exporters.
“In some competitor markets, that proportion is much higher. Encouraging more businesses to overcome their concerns about exporting is a high priority for FDF and for our affiliate members Santander. We are seeking to persuade the Government to invest alongside us in more specialist support to help companies take advantage of more export opportunities.
“This report focuses in detail on growth through export potential but also touches on the many other opportunities and barriers on key issues impacting our members.”
Santander UK, head of Food and Drink Sector Andrew Williams, said: “As the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, contributing £31.1bn to the economy annually and employing 450,000 people, the food & drink industry is a vital element of UK business and output, both domestically and internationally.
“Despite an uncertain UK economic environment and the continual need to invest in technology and innovation, huge opportunities remain to sell more great British food and drink, in particular oversees. It’s key that we identify how best to harness this growth potential and improve productivity, and we’re delighted to be supporting the industry and this FDF report and in particular, by showcasing those opportunities overseas.”