Considerations for Food Export

One of the first considerations when considering food export to another country is where? Then comes the what, how, when and why?


You are the expert in the food that you are creating, so the “what” is pretty much taken care of- or so you may think. Local customs and preferences vary widely across a country, let alone into a different country. Doing your homework on local preferences in the target country will help to decide if it is the right market for you.


Once the target market is suitably qualified and any tweaks made to the product, there are technical aspects which need to be addressed.


These include:

  • Do you need Certificates of Origin and Export Health Certificates (animal origin)?
  • Have you identified any restricted ingredients?
  • Engage with local UK regulatory authorities, early in the process
  • Does the UK site/facility need to be registered with importing country?
  • Does the production site need to be audited by an accredited auditor and how do you find one?
  • Are there any restrictions on marketing terms and claims?
  • Do you need to nominate an agent in the importing country to handle issues?
  • Have you checked the labelling requirements in the importing country and language requirements?
  • Check the General food labelling and commodity requirements (Codex)
  • Do you know how to obtain all necessary licences and approvals prior to despatch?
  • Are there any special packaging requirements?
  • What are the logistics involved in transporting the food?
  • Have you got your costings correct?

Speak to your local Department for International Trade for information and coaching about your target country. They offer masterclasses and expertise in the culture and requirements of the country that you are considering for export. 

I have developed a checklist of things to consider for those new to food export. You can download it and receive ongoing food safety support here.

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