Beer may be being Britain’s third biggest food and drink export, but the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) believes more can be done to promote our national drink around the world.
The comments come in response to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee inquiry on Brand Britain: Promoting and Marketing British food and drink.
The BBPA wants to see more involvement in the early stages of project development, and the government adopting multi-year budgets for exports to give companies sufficient time to plan and budget.
It also says there needs to be a greater understanding of cost and availability in individual markets, which can identify brands best suited to these countries.
The BBPA believes that the departments for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and International Trade (DIT), should convene a meeting of estate managers and chefs from key third country markets to do a food and drink promotional course in the UK. This event would allow embassies and consulates to understand food and drink matching, as well as opportunities for British exporters to speak to key decision makers in these markets about what is on offer, where and at what price.
It says there is also a need for a pro-active promotion of the British beer brand, but both Craft is Great and Heritage is Great are viewed as too narrow a description to convey the excellent range of British Beer.
There has been considerable success with inbound trade missions which matched UK brewers to Canadian buyers. It is best practice which could be developed for other markets, says the association.
BBPA chief executive, Brigid Simmonds, said: “British beer is an export success story, but with the right support it could achieve our stated aim of increasing exports by £100 million over the next five years.
“There needs to be a more innovative and joined-up approach from government which engages with the industry, builds on best practice, such as inward missions, and provides flexible budgets which works for the industry in promoting British exports.
“British brewing is a world-class industry which already exports to 120 countries round the world. The Export Strategy is a key feature of our website and we are keen to work with DEFRA and DIT to grow British beer exports and build a unique British beer brand.”