The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has responded to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee inquiry on Brand Britain: Promoting and Marketing British food and drink.
Beer is the third largest Food and Drink Export category, exporting to over 120 countries, but the BBPA believes that more can be done to promote British beer around the world.
This includes more involvement in the early stages of project development, to Government adopting multi-year budgets for exports which gives companies sufficient time to plan and budget. 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 DEFRA and 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.
There is also a need for a proactive promotion of the British beer brand, but both ‘Craft is Great’ and ‘Heritage is Great’ are 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.
BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds commented, “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.”