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The latest HMRC figures show that food and drink exports from the South West have risen to £838m in the year to June 2018, an increase of 8.7% on the previous 12 months.
This is compared to the previous quarter’s statistics in which HMRC stated the South West’s food and drink exports to be worth £760m in the year to March 2018 – an increase of approximately 7% on the prior year.
According to the research, more firms in the region are targeting China, with 31% more food and drink exported to the country when compared to the previous 12 months. There was also a marked increase in appetite for South West produce in Australia, to which exports rose by 18%.
The statistics also highlighted some other changes in market demands and consumer preferences. Seafood was the most popular product demanded overseas from the region, closely followed by dairy products. Whereas for the year to March 2018, meat, dairy products and eggs were the most popular. Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits (which includes nuts and olives) showed the largest increase of any food and drink product, up 26% to £17m.
Nick Farrant, Partner at PKF Francis Clark said:
“The increase in exports is really positive news for the South West and for two of our specialist sectors, food and drink and agriculture. We have clients producing great quality produce and it’s fantastic to see that other countries are getting the taste for them.
“We as a firm recognise the increasing demand for international business advice and have committed additional resource to service it. There is also Government support for businesses seeking to trade internationally and we suggest that those businesses get in contact with the Department for International Trade who offer a wide range of support”.