Food and drink exports soar in value

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Latest HMRC figures show that exports of North East food and drink increased to £250m in the year to March 2018, an increase of 5.5 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.

The most popular products from the region overseas were coffee, tea, cocoa and spices (£80m) and cereals (£33m).

The products that showed the most significant growth in exports over the 12-month period were dairy (up 40 per cent to £19m) and fruit and vegetables (up 21 per cent to £13m).

David Coppock, head of North East region at DIT, said: “Many North East food and drink firms, from cheesemongers to brewers, are finding great success overseas. Exporting can be highly lucrative, helping to boost a company’s resilience, weather seasonal fluctuations and increase profitability – but it can have its challenges.

“DIT offers a range of support to help firms to take their first step selling abroad, from help to attend trade missions, to one-to-one guidance from export trade advisers. Many, like Oatein, are already finding success overseas.”

The statistics also show that more firms in the region are targeting China, with 61 per cent more food and drink exported to the country during the period, when compared to the previous 12 months.