Boris hosts best of British festive food and drink market at Downing Street


Downing Street transformed into a festive food and drink market to showcase Britain’s biggest exports ahead of Small Business Saturday.

The Prime Minister hosted a festive food and drink market at Downing Street yesterday (30 November) to showcase British businesses who are making the most out of our international trade policy, ahead of Small Business Saturday.

He was joined by Cabinet Ministers including, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Food and Agriculture Secretary George Eustice, Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan as well as Minister for Exports Mike Freer to support businesses who are seizing opportunities for growth by exporting their goods internationally.

Twelve businesses held market stalls in Downing Street to showcase their finest products including Snowdonia Cheese, a Welsh cheese company; Tayto, a Northern Irish snack company; Loch Fyne Oysters, a Scottish seafood company; and Montezuma’s, an English chocolate company.

Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street

Those invited to the event also include the co-founder of Fever-Tree Drinks, the homegrown premium soft drinks company established in 2004, which is now the world’s leading premium mixer brand, exporting to over 80 countries worldwide and selling more than 500 million bottles in 2020.

The Prime Minister also spoke to the owner of Wilkins and Sons, who have been making quality preserves since 1885. Wilkins and Sons now export to over 60 countries across the world and brought in a turnover of £49 million in 2019 alone.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:

It’s great to see the best of British food and drink here in Downing Street, especially in the run up to Christmas.

We currently export to 207 countries but this government is supporting British food and drink exporters to sell even more of their brilliant produce abroad.

As it’s St Andrew’s Day, I’m looking forward to sampling a Clootie McToot dumpling, some Loch Fyne Oysters and a winter warmer from the Isle of Harris Distillery.

Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

We are committed to ensuring that food and drink from all four corners of the UK can be and will continue to be loved across the globe.

Today’s announcement of new agri-food and drink attachés in key markets will help to further unlock barriers to trade. They are one of the many ways we are helping to open up new exporting opportunities around the world and are part of our plans for a truly Global Britain.

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said:

We want people at home and abroad to be lining up to buy British.

What we have announced today will further unlock the potential of new and existing markets, enabling our farmers and food and drink producers to take advantage of new opportunities and fly the flag for UK produce around the world.

Businesses from all four corners of the UK are benefiting from international exports and putting their world class products on the global market. One example is Isle of Harris, an award-winning Scottish gin business who took part in the event. Isle of Harris export their products to over 20 different countries, supporting the UK as the world’s biggest exporter of gin.

The Government have also created new trade and investment teams in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Northeast, with dedicated teams to ensure every business, everywhere in the UK, gets support. Exports will support highly paid jobs and by sending British products abroad it secures growth and jobs at home across the Union.

Earlier this month, the government launched an Export Strategy which will help businesses across the UK double exports and sell their world-class products around the globe. The 12-point export strategy will give businesses the tools they need to become a nation of exporters and reap the benefits of our free trade deals.

The Government say it will create a network of agriculture, food and drink attachés in priority markets to further unlock barriers to trade and open up new exporting opportunities around the world. As well as posts in China, USA, India, Canada and Mexico, the attachés will be covering growth markets in the Gulf, Africa, South America and the Asia-Pacific region. There will also be additional capacity and resource in Europe.

Unlocking the UK’s exporting potential will help level up the country and boost the UK’s economy, with government-led research estimating that exports currently support 6.5 million jobs across the UK and showing that exporters pay higher wages and are on average 21 percent more productive.

More details on the businesses who held stalls in Downing Street:

Tayto: As the third largest manufacturer of crisps in the UK, Tayto’s crisp production is made from 100% UK & Irish potatoes supporting British farming jobs and supply chains. In Armagh is Tayto Castle, with over 300 employees, Tayto have been making some of the world’s best loved crisps and snacks since 1956. Tayto exports their products across the world.

Ballylisk Dairies: The Wright family has been farming in Ballylisk, Armagh since 1820. The fifth generation of Wrights, currently running the business, is the first generation to make cheese. The company employs less than 10 people and exports their products to Europe.

Clootie McToot: A family run business based in Perthshire Scotland which create Clootie Dumplings, with the recipe being handed down through generations of the family.

Loch Fyne Oysters: Located in Cairndow Scotland, Loch Fyne Oysters support over 22 locations owned by Loch Fyne restaurants across the country, including London, Poole and Edinburgh. Loch Fyne Oysters is a global exporter, including markets such as; Dubai, Hong Kong, USA and Singapore.

Isle of Harris: A distillery founded in 2015 to provide employment for the Isle of Harris. They use sugar kelp seaweed, gathered sustainably by hand from their local sea-lochs, as their key botanical to express the island’s unique maritime nature. Named 2021 Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year, Isle of Harris Distillery employ around 40 staff on the island and the company export to over 20 different countries.

Cradocs Savoury Biscuits: Cradoc’s Savoury Biscuits, an artisan craft bakery in the Brecon Beacons, has been baking crackers for 12 years and have strong export links to South Korea.

Snowdonia Cheese: Founded in North Wales, Snowdonia cheese is a multi-award-winning business which sells to more than 25 countries including Canada, Australia, the United States, France and Germany.

Ma Baker: Ma Baker opened an award-winning micro bakery in 2015 following a year of volunteering in cookery schools/bakeries around London. She provides the Bread School courses to help others learn to bake bread.

Fever-Tree: Fever-Tree makes Premium Mixers and Sodas. Established in 2004, Fever-Tree now sells in 78 countries and sold over 500 million bottles in 2020. The company employs around 150 people over two locations in London.

Wilkin & Sons: Wilkins and Sons have been farming at Tiptree, Essex, since 1757 and making quality preserves since 1885. As well as conserves and condiments, the company makes fruit liqueurs using its farm grown fruit and gin from a local distiller. Their products can be found in over 60 across the world.

Montezumas: Founded in 2000, Montezuma’s is one of Britain’s most innovative chocolate brand, with a strong focus on sustainable business growth. Montezumas employs over 200 staff at around 9 stores across England.

Perky Blenders Coffee: Perky Blenders Coffee have featured in the Independent’s Best’s ‘Best Coffee Subscription Services,’ and have won two Time Out Awards as the ‘Best Coffee Place’ within three London Postcodes. The business currently employs around 35 people in England and they now supply to over 60 stores – including Whole Foods, The Conran Shop, Anthropology, and the award-winning Eat17 Spar shops. All their coffee beans are sourced sustainably.

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