Wine and spirit export boost welcomed by international trade expert

An award-winning shipping company has welcomed new figures which show that beverages such as wine, gin and whisky are topping the UK’s list of food and drink exports.

Telford-based Global Freight Services says the national figures mirror its own experience of new and emerging markets within its business.

According to new data released by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) food and drink exports from the UK increased only by 2.5 per cent last year.

However, bucking the trend were wine, gin and whisky exports, all of which showed growth in both value and volume.

Wine exports rose 9.8 per cent to £489.2million, while whisky rose by 7.7per cent to £4.8 billion and gin exports rose 15 per cent in value to £614.4 million.

Anton Gunter, Managing Director of Global Freight, which has been helping companies to ship goods around the world for more than 20 years, said whilst it was disappointing to see such a small rise in overall food and drink exports from the UK, it was encouraging to see growth in some areas.

“These figures are in line with our own experiences over recent months. We have certainly seen more and more businesses who are involved in the export of alcoholic products coming to us for advice and support on freight options.

“It has become a growing part of our businesses along with supporting companies who export hazardous goods and chemicals.”

He added: “It’s disheartening to see a slower than normal growth rate in food and drink exports from the UK but we suspect some of this may be attributed to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

“After last night, it’s still not clear what kind of Brexit will now take place, if at all, but it does again highlight the need for businesses to look for export opportunities outside of the EU.

“This applies to small and medium sized food and drink manufacturers and is not just about big companies securing multi-million export orders.”

A recent event on the ‘Future of International Trade’ held by Global Freight in partnership with the Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin and Barclays, aimed to to highlight some of these opportunities to businesses across the county.