Traditional treats travel

Published —
26.07.17
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BRITISH food and drink is proving a global hit, with exports growing 10% to top £20bn for the first time last year.

So, what traditional treats have travelled overseas?

Welsh culture

When farmer Gareth Roberts sought to diversify in the 1980s, he started with a milk round supplying homes around his North Wales village of Llannefydd. By 1985, he had launched the Llaeth Y Llan (Village Dairy) yoghurt range and the company this year completed an HSBC and Welsh government-backed expansion of its production facilities. Now its products can be found on supermarket shelves in the United Arab Emirates.

Mother’s ruin

Turncoat gin promotional image

While Scotch Whisky is a traditional export star, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association says gin’s popularity has rocketed, with sales overseas growing 12% to a record £474 million in 2016. British gin sells in 139 countries, notably the US, Canada, Spain and Germany, with exports to the States growing 553% in a decade. Nearly 100 new distilleries opened in the last two years. Only 116 were in existence in 2010, according to HMRC.

Jam packed

Tiptree, Wilkin & Sons trades on its heritage, having been farming in Essex since 1757, preserving fruit since 1885 and been awarded its Royal Warrant in 1911. Its jams are still cooked in batches using traditional copper-bottomed pans. But its products can now be found in more than 70 countries, on luxury cruise liners, in five star hotels and on top airlines. About a quarter of its £40m annual revenue comes from overseas markets.

Leaping salmon:

Year-on-year sales of the fish rocketed by more than 50% in value terms to £187m in the first quarter of 2017, according to figures trumpeted by the Food and Drink Federation. Export volumes have fallen as sea lice affect stocks globally.

BBC World News sets out the global food trade in numbers as part of its International Business Festival-sponsored Trading Futures Season

But Scotland’s biggest food export has a reputation for quality, thanks to being the first non-French product awarded the Label Rouge mark, which helps it command strong prices.

Vegetable drinks:

Beetroot juice might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s the toast of Suffolk-based James White Drinks. Its Beet It sports nutrition range is exported to more than 30 countries, having been taken up by international cycling, football, rugby and Olympic teams thanks to studies linking it to improved performance. The firm’s Big Tom spicy tomato juice can also be found on airlines, and in supermarkets in Holland, Belgium and Scandinavia.

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