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Trade experts share knowledge at Wallis Shipping’s Food & Drink seminar

Wallis Shipping is renowned for being an expert in freight management and of the many sectors we service with our bespoke logistics, food and drink businesses are a key player. Based in the east of England for the past 35 years, Wallis is uniquely positioned among a huge range of agricultural, farming and food industries and within easy reach of two of the UK’s largest ocean freight ports, giving us a fantastic advantage for food and drink logistics.

MD Stuart in front of the FD building

Wallis Shipping’s Managing Director, Stuart Gregory at the Broadland Food Innovation Centre. Photo: Paul Macro

Food and drink logistics

The reputation of British produce overseas means that as a country have access to amazing international opportunities. There is a positive attitude towards exports coming out of East Anglia – a recent survey by the Institute of Export found that 91% of goods producing business in East Anglia actively export. In addition to this, according to recent data from the Food and Drink Federation, the food and drink sector has overseen a resurgence in export sales, with most categories now exceeding pre-pandemic levels to reach a record £24.8bn, and for the very first time, exports to non-EU markets have broken through the £10bn barrier.

Wallis Shipping wants to help food and drink businesses to better understand how to take their UK-based food and drink products to European and international markets.

The lecture room

The seminar needed a venue which was a hub for local food and drink businesses. Photo: Paul Macro

Broadland Food Innovation Centre

To share our knowledge on the subject of exporting with an audience of food and drink specialists, we needed a venue which was a hub for the local food and drink sector. The Broadland Food Innovation Centre is located just off the A47 to the west of Norwich and was established by the University of East Anglia. The centre acts as a base for a local scheme, designed to be a hub that supports food and drink SMEs within the region to grow and develop supply chains. As well as the physical space, it has created a Food and Drink Innovation Cluster which links local food supply chain organisations in Norfolk and Suffolk together via networking, support, collaborations and workshops tailored to business growth needs. This gave Wallis the perfect space to share our wealth of knowledge.


Top tips to expand your food and drink business

With all the knowledge that Wallis has from our work within the food and drink sector, we understand that the quickest way to grow your food and drink business is to get it global. So, we pulled together a group of experts, including our own Managing Director Stuart Gregory to share tips and advice on how businesses could expand internationally.

Rosemary O’Connor, East of England UK Trade & Investment Adviser at the Department for International Trade, takes questions during her part of the seminar. Photo: Paul Macro

Opening the seminar was Rosemary O’Connor, East of England UK Trade & Investment Adviser at the Department for International Trade (DIT).

She discussed the benefits that the delegates could take from exporting their food and drink products overseas and what the Department for Business & Trade offers to new and existing exporters. Her expertise and experience within international trade offered the attendees a huge wealth of insight and education.

Following Rosemary, Stuart then went on to give some first hand-insights from his own experience exporting for Wallis’ client base. Going into detail about where in the world Wallis currently distribute to and the type of products it exports and imports,

Stuart went on to focus on the three essential things for businesses to consider when exporting food and drink products:

· Time

· Temperature

· Regulations

Managing Director, Stuart Gregory and Nathalie Vallee, Operations Manager at Wallis Shipping prepare ahead of the seminar. Photo: Paul Macro

Time – things to consider:

· Perishable

· Limited shelf life

· Speed to market

· Regular, reliable supply chain

· Good planning with a well-rehearsed solution

It is also important to spend time ahead of despatch taking into account all stages, including:

· Availability

· Systems

· Transport and collection

· Paperwork

· Export clearance

· Transit points

· Import clearance

· Delivery

Temperature – things to consider:

· Time spent ahead of dispatch planning best temperature control for your goods

· Ensure the temperature is controlled throughout so that quality is maintained

· Do you need cold, frozen or ambient temperatures?

· Full supply chain solution from the point of dispatch to the point of delivery – is 24/7 support needed?

· Solution sustained in a trusted network of cold chain warehousing and transport.

· Seafreight: Using reefer containers (refrigerated with temperature controls)

· EU / Road: Using refrigerated trucks

· Airfreight: Using thermal wrap, reefer units

· Samples: Using ice boxes

Regulations – things to consider:

· Sanitary and phytosanitary controls

· Measures to protect the biosecurity of the UK.

· Applies to many product groups of animal or plant origin as well as some manufactured goods.

Wallis Shipping are experts in food and drink logistics. Photo: Paul Macro

Stuart’s tips on where to start when planning to export

Things to consider:

· Commodity code: Determine what import rules, processes and duty rates are applicable to a product. Determine import SPS controls, rules of origin, trade protection measures, licensed goods, sanctions and export controls, statistics.

· Suppliers of POAO (product of animal origin) and ABP (animal by products) to be authorised (register with DEFRA)

· Close contact with customer and clear list of documents needed for import.

· Buyer checks import duty rate.

· Agree terms of sale with customer (not Delivered Duty Paid)

· Agree who insures cargo.

· Check quality and labelling requirements.

· Exporter to obtain Health or Phytosanitary certificate.

· Remote documentary checks

The trio of experts who delivered the seminar for local food and drink businesses – left to right: Wallis’ Managing Director Stuart Gregory, Rosemary O’Connor of Department for International Trade and Gillian McGill VAT Director of Larking Gowen. Photo: Paul Macro

Things to consider when exporting to the EU:

· Pre-notification submitted to the EU via TRACES

· Check the commodity code is listed in Reg.2019/2007 (Annex 1)

· Health certificate accompanies the goods

Ø Animal origin – EHC

Ø Plant and plant products – PC

· Pre-export inspection by certifying officer

· Enters EU via an authorised location (BCP)

· Physical checks at the EU border or inland

Getting certification

Products requiring Export Health Certificate (EHC):

· Live animals / fish

· Animal origin, goods for human consumption

· Composite food products

· Animal by-products not for human consumption

· Germinal products

Export Health Certificate (EHC) exemptions:

· Some composite food products

· R&D samples

· Some personal goods

· Samples of composite food products (subject to authorisation)

Products requiring Phytosanitary Certificate (PC):

· Plants

· Plant products

· Propagating material

· Fresh produce for human consumption

· Animal feed

· Used agricultural machinery

Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) exemptions:

· Unregulated plants and plant products

· Processed fruit or veg packaged for retail

· Composite products containing processed fruit or veg

Helpful resources regarding certification:

· Government Gateway

· Defra Account

· Register For EHC Online

· Register For PC Online (

Wallis’ Managing Director Stuart Gregory, Rosemary O’Connor of Department for International Trade and Gillian McGill, VAT Director of Larking Gowen. Photo: Paul Macro

Stuart’s advice was to prepare, digitalise and gain more insight from the helpful contacts available:

· Border:

· Health:

· Food:

· Industry:

VAT and Corporation Tax

Gillian McGill, VAT Director at Larking Gowen completed the seminar with a focus on VAT and corporation tax that all future exporters will need to consider, giving sound advice and vital insight into this sometimes-confusing technical area.

The day offered an insightful seminar with some fantastic speakers and Wallis Shipping hopes to run more of these sessions in the future. Look out for updates in due course and in the meantime, for more information about our services within the food and drink sector, visit


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