Expenditures and Activities of
European Union (EU) Member Countries
Food from Britain (FFB), a quasi-governmental agency established in 1983, coordinates U.K. efforts to promote domestic and export sales of agricultural products. FFB employs about 65 full-time staff--25 in London and the rest in its overseas offices. Food from Britain's budget for 1998/99 was about $ 21.5 million, of which about 43 percent came from the government. Industry membership fees, consultancy fees, third-party contributions to marketing projects, publication sales, and exhibition fees account for the remainder of FFB's budget.
U.K. Government Promotion
Food from Britain maintains offices in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, and North America (Marietta, Georgia). About 70 percent of Food from Britain's budget is directed toward export markets in the EU, North America, and Asia.
FFB offers export marketing and promotion services to the entire U.K. food and beverage industry. FFB activities include:
Trade shows and buying missions, for which FFB receives about 60 percent of staff travel costs from the Department of Trade and Industry;
Overseas in-store promotion assistance to U.K. exporters, with FFB putting the exporters in contact with the store so it can arrange a product promotion.
Export consultancy services to U.K. exporters through FFB’s London headquarters as well as overseas offices; and
Export seminars, conducted throughout the United Kingdom, focusing on specific export regions and markets, and featuring presentations by FFB directors.
Food from Britain receives financial support from the Government's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for pavilions at international trade shows covering 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 U.K. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) also conducts some trade promotion activities such as overseas fact-finding tours, trade fairs outside the EU, and ministerial trade missions. MAFF does not provide any direct funding to British agricultural companies.
Producer Promotion Organizations
The U.K.'s first Horticultural Export Bureau (HEB), was opened in Louth, Lincolnshire, in 1996. At that time, funding for the 2.5-person Bureau included a three-year grant of $247,500 (BPS 150,000) from MAFF's Marketing Development Scheme budget with matching funds from the industry in the form of membership fees. The bulk of the MAFF grant went to set up the Bureau. Following lengthy consultation with its members, HEB reverted to a member-owned association in 1998. The Bureau, now operating under the name HEB (Members Association) Ltd, has approximately eight full members, each paying a membership fee of $6,386 (BPS 3,870). Associate members, who pay a membership fee of approximately $330 (BPS 200), have access to the Bureau's data base. Activities conducted by HEB for its full members include attending key European trade shows, buying missions and individual projects for its members.
British Cereal Exports (BCE) spent an estimated $550,000 to promote cereal exports in 1998/99. BCE's staff of four used its 1998/99 budget of $550,000 (BPS334,000) to inform overseas buyers of the quality and availability of U.K. grain; to attend trade shows to increase the profile of U.K. cereals; and to organize trade missions to open up new markets and maintain current export markets. Efforts concentrated on EU markets and China, the latter being a potentially important destination for U.K. malting barley. BCE is solely levy-funded with no government contribution.
The Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) promotes beef, pork, lamb and other red meats. FAS estimates MLC's promotion budget at $35 million in 1998/99, with most funding directed at domestic markets. MLC is funded almost entirely through producer levies.
The Scottish Salmon Board promotes Scottish salmon in the U.K. and abroad. In 1998 its promotion budget was approximately $2.5 million, $825,000 of which was spent outside of Great Britain. The Board conducts promotional campaigns aimed at retailers and wholesalers.
Most of the European and many other promotion groups are active in the U.K. market, especially with wine, meat, and fruit promotions; no specific budget information is available. France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa promote wine in the U.K. Denmark, New Zealand, and the Netherlands promote meat exports. France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and South Africa promote apples, pears, citrus and other fruits, and vegetables, and Israel's Citrus Marketing Board also has a substantial budget for promotion activities in the U.K. Most of these expenditures are financed by producers. All of these countries also participate in trade shows, and some, such as Canada, France, Chile, and Israel, also use in-store promotions.
A number of third-country trade associations and government bodies promote forest products in the U.K. These include the Malaysian Timber Council, which has an office with more than five people; the Timber Export Development Board of Ghana; three Canadian provincial associations; the Nordic Timber Council, which spends more than $400,000 per year and the French Office du Bois, which is a major competitor in the market for temperate hardwoods.