Food and drink report reveals export plans

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A RISE in food and drink firms targeting international customers and employment concerns within the industry have been revealed in a new report.

Following the decision to leave the European Union, a Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking report has stated almost seven out of 10 food and drink firms in England and Wales are pursuing new international customers.

The Food and Drink Report 2017 advised more than a quarter of firms plan to export for the first time in the next five years. A high number of firms (48 per cent) felt rising labour costs present a challenge to employment in the industry.

Despite this, 44 per cent advised they still plan to create jobs.

Elena Paitra, managing director of food, beverages and tobacco at Lloyds Commercial Banking, said: ‘Uncertainty surrounding last year’s EU Referendum vote slowed down the UK food and drink industry’s aspirations in the short term. But this year’s survey shows while uncertainty remains, companies are moving on from Brexit and re-focusing efforts on achieving growth and increasing confidence.’