The UK has long shed its reputation for dull cuisine and is now home to some of the most innovative and best tasting food and drink products in the world.
British food and drink exports exceeded £22bn for the second year running in 2018 and have grown by a huge 95% over the past 10 years. The global demand for quality British produce is bigger than ever and we’re here to help businesses to take advantage of these lucrative sales opportunities.
In recent times, British food and drink producers have shown an appetite to meet new overseas contacts that can import, distribute or retail their produce across the world, so this got us thinking at Business West about how we could improve and speed up the international sales cycle for businesses in the South West of England.
This led to the creation of the Great British Food Programme and its pioneering online directory platform in late 2017. Our mission was simple; promote some of the best British food and drink producers to a global audience of multiples, buyers, agents and distributors.
The Great British Food Directory
With the Great British Food Directory now in its third release, we have moved quickly from solely promoting South West of England producers to now featuring food and drink companies and products from across the whole of England. The user functionality on the directory has developed to include a more complete experience for both producers and buyers alike. Key information is now featured on producer profiles including products, shelf life, awards, current retailers and most importantly, countries of interest.
By signing up to the platform, British food and drink producers also gain exclusive access to several meet the buyer events each year, as well as the ability to communicate directly with international buyers through our internal messaging system.
The Great British Food Programme prides itself on the ease of connecting British food and drink producers with international multiples, buyers, agents and distributors, and we look forward to seeing even more quality British produce stacking the shelves worldwide!
The Great British Food Programme is delivered by the international trade team at Business West, which is also the official delivery partner for the Department for International Trade services in the South West of England.
We often partner with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on several initiatives, as well as Santander, who have a dedicated team supporting food and drink manufacturers and often host trade missions that Great British Food Programme members can gain exclusive access to.
The Great British Food Programme is delivered with the help and support of Business West’s Export Growth Partners – One Midlands, the Growth Company and Enterprise Nation.
Export Growth Partners is a new venture formed by four leading UK business support organisations. Their vision is to create an integrated, nationally recognised route to world-beating export support, providing export support packages from ‘best in class’ public and private sector specialists.
Between them, since 2015 they’ve supported over 56,000 businesses to export, creating more than 14,000 jobs for the UK economy. Last year alone, they assisted UK businesses in achieving additional export sales of £2.26bn. Export Growth Partners provides support across all stages of the export journey – from market research, overseas market visits, finding buyers to fulfilling export documentation – right up to ensuring payment is received.