THE UNITED KINGDOM
The United Kingdom is a major competitor with the United State. "Food from Britain," the United Kingdom's major market promotion organization, is allocated about $7.9 million from the government. Private funds contributed to Food from Britain ($7.1 million) and to the Meat and Livestock Commission ($5.4 million) totaled $12.5 million in 1995.
UK government promotion: UK efforts to promote domestic and export sales of agricultural products are coordinated by Food from Britain, a quasi-governmental agency established in 1983. It employs about 60 full-time staff -- 25 in London and 5 in each of its overseas offices. Food from Britain spent about $15 million in 1995 of which about 56 percent comes from the government (about $7.9 million). Industry membership fees, consultancy fees, publication costs, and exhibition fees account for the remaining $7.1 million in FFB's budget. Food from Britain is aiming for higher industry contributions, which were slightly higher in 1994/95 than in the previous year.
Food from Britain maintains offices in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and North America. About 70 percent of Food from Britain's budget is directed toward export markets in the EU and in North America. In 1994/95, Food from Britain expanded its representation to Japan and Scandinavia.
Food from Britain offers export marketing and promotion services to the UK's value-added food products industry. Such services include market intelligence reports, participation in Food from Britain pavilions at international trade exhibitions, advice on advertising and public relations in export markets, and putting exporters in contact with retail outlets for in-store promotions.
Food from Britain aims to increase the participation of British firms in export markets. Food from Britain worked with 1,000 companies in 1994/95, of which 113 were new exporters. Food from Britain receives financial support from the United Kingdom's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for its pavilions at international trade shows (about 50 percent of space rental costs and 40 percent of pavilion construction costs). No set annual budgeting is provided by DTI, but funds are allocated upon request. Food from Britain's trade show participation charges are structured to achieve a full-cost recovery on those costs not subsidized by DTI.
The UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) also conducts some trade promotion activities such as overseas fact-finding tours, trade fairs and Ministerial missions. No expenditures were available for MAFF agricultural product activities
Producer promotion organizations: The Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) promotes beef, pork, lamb and other red meats. MLC's promotion budget was estimated at $5.4 million in 1994/95. MLC is funded almost entirely through producer levies. MLC's export marketing program focuses on five major European target markets: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Activities include export market information services, trade missions, export market workshops, and organizing international trade show participation for British meat companies. MLC targets its beef promotions chiefly to EU countries and participated in a World Food Show in Russia. Lamb promotions also are targeted to EU countries. Pork promotions last year included extensive promotions in EU countries and participation in the World Food Show in Russia, the British Meat Presentation in Korea, an EU export promotion seminar in Japan, and "Foodapest" in Hungary. MLC future activities for beef are in question due to the BSE scare in 1996.
British Cereal Exports (BCE) promotes exports of British cereals. No information on BCE's 1995 promotion budget was provided (or, thus, included in Table 1), although BCE's total annual budget in 1994 was about $780,000 of which an estimated 50 percent ($390,000) went to export promotion activities. (This number was not included in Table 1 this year. BCE recently received a grant from the Department of Trade and Industry of $77,500 toward the cost of a 3-year program to promote exports of malting barley. BCE's officials accompanied the Agricultural Minister on a trade mission to China in late April 1996. One of the mission objectives is to seek a share of the large Chinese market for malting barley. Funds for the new Bureau will be included in the calculation of next year's promotion expenditures.
A new promotion effort, the Horticultural Export Bureau, was opened in Louth, Lincolnshire, in July 1996. The Bureau will be funded by a matching grant from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries of $225,000 annually for 3 years. The Bureau will conduct trade servicing through a database of UK producers/exporters and overseas customers and will collect market intelligence for dissemination to the horticultural industry. In its first year of operations, the Bureau will concentrate on export expansion of vegetables, salad and processed salads. Fruits will be introduced the following year, followed by flowers and plants in the third year. Initially, the Bureau's efforts will focus on other EU countries. Funds for the new Bureau will be included in the calculation of next year's promotion expenditures.
Recent UK promotion efforts have shifted toward the domestic market and emphasized "Buy British" campaigns to help close the trade gap in food products. This type of defense is important in the face of heavy competition from most agricultural exporters, including other EU countries, the United States, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Norway and South Africa.