LAST YEAR‘S recovery in food and drink exports have continued this year, according to market development consultancy Food from Britain.

Sales of food and drink from the UK were up 1% during the first six months of 2004.

FFB predicts this upward trend will continue and that the market will finish just below the £10bn mark for the full 12 months, at £9.9bn.

The continued positive outlook, despite some on-going challenges in both markets and product sectors, demonstrates the robustness of food and drink exports as a whole over the last two years, FFB says.

The food and drink sector outperformed total UK exports during the first half of 2004. Total UK exports were down 1%.

Added-value products have continued to surge ahead and are now driving the UK‘s food and drink market, according to FFB‘s latest figures.

Added-value food and drink exports until the end of June were up 3% and worth £2.89bn.

The top ten UK export markets from January to June 2004 were Ireland £813.8m, France £573.9m, USA £396m, Spain £351.6m, Germany £277.6m, Netherlands £204m, Italy £177.2m, Belgium £171.5m, Greece £91.5m and Japan £80m.