21 February 1997

Making added value count

COMBAT the adverse effect of a strong sterling on exports by adding-value to products.

That was the message Food from Britains chief executive, Patrick Davis gave delegates.

"Adding value was not just a job for processors and retailers, it could also be done much nearer to the farm gate.

"If you produce something that is unique, link up with others in the food chain to make sure you get your share of the added value. And if you can convince a retailer that he has to have the product from you, you are in a better position to command a share of that added-value."

Branding items with a local or regional label – such as Welsh or Borders lamb – is one way to do this, suggested Mr Davis.

&#8226 A 50% rise in the last five years means the UK is now the worlds sixth largest food and drink exporter. And cereal exports rose 12% in the 12 months to last September.