Food and drink sector: export help

Guidance for how the Department for International Trade (DIT) can help food and drink companies exporting overseas.

How DIT can help

Food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK. It has a turnover of £95.4 billion and employs about 400,000 people. The UK has an excellent reputation for food and drink and the ‘Britishness’ of our products is a major selling point.

DIT helps UK food and drink companies realise their export potential and make the most of export opportunities overseas.

Contact DIT

Whether you are an experienced exporter or just starting out, DIT can help by:

  • identifying target markets
  • providing expert advice
  • facilitating introductions to important contacts including buyers, distributors and importers
  • promoting UK food and drink overseas


Consumers all over the world are increasingly buying online and want to purchase UK goods via the web. With online consumers forecast to rise by 3 billion over the next 2 years, there is a huge opportunity for UK food and drink companies to cater for this audience. DIT has launched the e-Exporting Programme to help UK companies increase their exports through online channels.

For export advice and to find out more about how DIT could help you grow your exports, sign up and meet with a trade advisor.

Follow the DIT food and drink team on Twitter @UKTIFoodDrink .

Find out about other DIT services for exporters.

Register for DIT events

Register your interest to attend DIT food and drink events, including missions and webinars.

  • network with potential overseas customers
  • demonstrate technologies and products to an international audience
  • meet face to face with DIT advisers


DIT provides free international export sales leads from its worldwide network. Search for export opportunities.

Watch our YouTube video about Butlers Gin’s success:

Butlers Gin video


You may need some form of credit guarantee or insurance to protect you against non-payment or other financial issues in certain markets.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) can provide extra capital to finance large projects and help grow business. Watch our videos on the help UKEF can give on trade finance and managing payment risk.

Trade Associations

You can find trade associations for the food and drink sector on the Trade Association Forum


  1. Grown in Britain Global Business Programme at Milan Expo 2015

    • News story


  1. UK food and drink: international action plan

    • Policy paper