Now is a great time to take stock and make plans to increase in your exports in 2019. With the uncertainty continuing over Brexit, many companies are looking outside the EU to grow their exports.
Our top tips, listed below, are designed to act as a health check for your exports, as well as to inspire you to look for new opportunities to continue to grow your exports, sales and profits.
Even if you’re on a winning streak, there is never time to rest on your laurels. Finding a new export market isn’t as difficult and time consuming as you may think. In our previous ‘Where are the biggest markets and opportunities?’ blog post, we linked to DEFRA’s UK Food and Drink International Action Plan, which is aiming to increase food exports by an additional £2.9 billion, to markets such as Australia & New Zealand, Mexico and Latin America, India, USA and Canada, China, Japan and the UAE & Gulf region.
Checking essential paperwork, such as your import permits, is an essential task as we go into a new year. Double check that your import permits are in date and cover your current product, and check to see if anything needs amending to cover any future products which are in development, or ready to export.
Some EHCs are updated regularly, and older versions can get rejected, costing you time and money. If you’re in doubt, contact us and we can arrange an audit of your EHCs. Australia for example, had 4 changes to the dairy EHC in 2018!
As well as checking your EHCs are up to date, now is also a great time to double check that your Mandecs are still up to date. As well as your Mandecs, it’s also a good time to check that APHA have a list of approved signatories, that details of your suppliers and countries of origin are up to date, and that the heat treatment/processing/HACCP analysis information is correct.
Do you know your EXW from your DDP and your FCA from your DAP? If not, now is a great time to have a little refresher and update your knowledge. Take time to think about whether you know where the risk transfers, and if you are using the correct incoterm and version. Last updated in 2010, there are rumours that EXW may become obsolete (which may not be a bad thing……). A little work now will save a lot of time in the future.
Never underestimate the power of networking. Many organisations, such as the local Chamber of Commerce, Department for International Trade, and the Food and Drink Exporters’ Association often hold regular meetings and networking opportunities. These types of events are great opportunities to meet new people, and to discover new business opportunities, so now is a great time to look for forthcoming events and get a networking plan in place.
There has barely been a day gone by since the referendum when Brexit wasn’t on the front page of a newspaper and the uncertainty continues. Whether we have Theresa May’s deal, No Deal, a general election or a second referendum, the main advice that we have at the moment is not to panic. Like most people, we want Parliament to make a decision and then everyone can plan for it.
We are in regular contact with DEFRA and will endeavour to keep up to date with the latest plans. Sources have indicated a worst case scenario of needing a 325% increase in EHC volumes, at a time when 47% of OVs are stopping doing this type of work. We are increasing staffing levels to ensure we can cater for this if needed.
However, with this in mind, we refer you back to Tip 1, which is to find a new target market outside of the EU. The USA and China are key target markets at the moment, but there are opportunities around the world, so if you’re looking to re-energise your exporting journey and you’d like to take advantage of our substantial experience and network of contacts, now is a great time to get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to help.