UK Food & Drink
The UK has seen an explosion in the food and drinks sector in recent years, which currently generates £76 billion in revenue annually. In Scotland alone, the industry is worth £10 billion as it employs 7% of all Scots.
The UK food and drink industry has experienced incredible growth as the industry’s productivity has improved by 11% in the past five years, whereas other sectors averaged an increase of 0.5% over the same period. For this reason, British food and drink companies were able to double their exports in the past 10 years totaling £12.8 billion in 2014.
Unlike its American counterpart, the British food industry has virtually eliminated all traces of Trans Fats in UK products. This might be attributed to the average size of British food and drink businesses; 96% are are micro- to medium-sized companies.
Though the UK food and drink sector has grown steadily in the past decade, much of their success has relied on new manufacturing techniques. For this reason, local small firms are advised to take advantage of the growing consultancy sector.
As a clear majority of food industry is concentrated in companies without business and financial acumen, they are recommended to take advantage of a multitude of services as provided by business advisors.
Business Advisory in Food & Drink
Successful business advisors generally offer a wide range of services that could be useful for your firm.
Four particular aspects should be considered for small businesses in the UK food and drink industry.
Firstly, if your business does not currently have an accountant or accounting provider, find one immediately. There are often financial tricks that accountants know about that can reduce your costs and maximise your profits.
Accounting is the life of your business, as it determines the bounty of fruit provided by your labour.
VAT Services & Tax Relief
Are you currently registering and paying VAT? If not, you’re not necessarily breaking the law, though it’s entirely possible. VAT specialists should be consulted specifically regarding VAT services and tax relief.
This type of service will save your firm money both in the form of tax relief and potential legal fees.
Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual property is a general concept that refers to your brand, logo, patents and trade secrets, among other intangible assets. Intellectual property can be protected by various methods such as ring-fencing and commercialisation.
It is important to secure your Intellectual property for the purpose of remaining competitive as a brand and as an operational business unit.
The fourth and final aspect for consideration is the internationalisation process. Most food and drink firms would not be able to expand without the support of a business advisor with experience in the field.
Experts are often needed for this step in any company as it is necessary to understand national culture differences, which are particularly relevant to the food and drink industry.
Remember, global tastes are different. Scotland is IRN BRU’s main market for this very reason.
Business Advice UK
If your UK food and drinks firm is among the 96% that are micro- to medium-sized and you have not yet hired business advisors, there is no better time than now. In fact the sooner, the better.
If your company is looking for an all-inclusive business advisor, consider an accounting firm as they are often experienced in all four aspects of consultancy. Chartered Accountants are the most reputable and are therefore sure to bring the best business advice to your food and drink agency.
Wantems is UK’s Food & Drinks Industry Expert.
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