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GS1 UK partners with DIT to support “Made in the UK, Sold to the World” campaign

  • GS1 UK backs the Department for International Trade’s export-promotion campaign which highlights UK exporters and the government support available
  • Research by GS1 UK reveals 76 per cent of SMEs recognise the importance of exporting for business growth and are eager to seize the opportunities 
  • SMEs are in search of additional support, with 60 per cent wanting tools to streamline trading and 50 per cent eager for expert advice

London, 31 August 2022 – GS1 UK have partnered with the Department for International Trade (DIT) in support of their “Made in the UK, Sold to the World” export-promotion campaign.

Launched as part of the government’s export strategy, the campaign supports the department’s ambition to inspire and encourage more UK SMEs to export for the first time or expand their existing international sales.

Made in the UK, Sold to the World aims to help British companies realise their export potential, ensuring they are aware of the benefits of selling overseas and the support that DIT offers.

The campaign showcases exporting SMEs from around the UK and directs people to great.gov.uk, DIT’s website, which contains a wide range of guidance and details of the department’s services.

With only one in ten UK businesses currently exporting, unlocking the UK’s exporting potential will help level up the country and could boost the economy by more than £3.5 billion.

GS1 UK will support the campaign by collaborating with DIT to showcase the successes and learnings of a cross section of GS1 UK members to inspire other SMEs to grow their business through exporting. The approach will include telling the stories of “exporting business champions,” hosting online events, sharing valuable insights from industry experts, providing practical supply chain advice, and explaining how to obtain much needed funding. Exporting is often seen as being complex, so the campaign aims to provide free, jargon-free advice to all who need it.

SMEs account for 87 per cent of GS1 UK’s 58,000 members and their research has shown that these ambitious businesses recognise the exporting opportunity. They are keen to capitalise by selling British goods to customers overseas and 76 per cent see it as critical in order to survive these challenging times. A staggering 60 per cent believed they would export more, or the same amount, in the future so practical advice on how to get it right is crucial.

GS1 UK’s research also found that online platforms and social media have enabled SMEs to become ‘location agnostic’ with many now selling to increasingly diverse groups of customers across the globe. Of those already exporting 63 per cent say they are selling more products to customers beyond the EU since Brexit, particularly to Asia (41 per cent), North America (41 per cent), Africa and the Middle East (35 per cent).

As well as revealing the global ambitions of the UK’s SME community, GS1 UK found there is a clear demand for additional support. 60 per cent want tools to streamline duties and customs, 50 per cent would welcome advice from export professionals, and 69 per cent have already taken professional advice to boost global sales and are hungry to discover more.

Partnering with DIT to support “Made in the UK, Sold to the World” is just one of many ways in which GS1 UK is supporting SMEs in achieving international business growth. By helping members identify, capture, and share accurate data about their products, GS1 UK plays a vital role in developing solutions for frictionless trading online and in store.

Many of those surveyed ranked logistical challenges as high amongst the exporting difficulties they face. 41 per cent have experienced problems with slow or expensive shipping, 39 per cent said paperwork and customs processes had caused headaches, 33 per cent reported unexpected charges or duties and 31 per cent want cheaper tracked options. This highlights the importance of quality data for ensuring efficient logistics, as well as building consumer trust in British products.

Sarah Atkins GS1 UK CMO, said: “there is a high global demand for British goods and UK SMEs are ready and willing to export. It is evident that there is a huge untapped opportunity that is ready to be realised and could give the UK economy a much-needed boost. Our research has shown that greater awareness of the help on offer and just a little extra support from government and businesses in the supply chain will go a long way. We look forward to working closely with DIT and other partners to raise awareness of the opportunities on offer and build a collaborative support network for those SMEs wishing to export.”

Andrew Griffith, Minister for Exports, said: “It is fantastic news that GS1 UK has partnered with DIT to support our ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ campaign, helping thousands of their SME members sell their products to the world, in turn growing our economy and supporting jobs. “Our 12-point export strategy and Export Support Service are supporting businesses to boost their exports and expand into international markets, creating exciting new opportunities around the world.”

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Notes to editors

For further information or requests for interviews, contact Alex Cox: 07464 946 769; alexander.cox@gs1uk.org.

About GS1 UK

GS1 UK uses the common language of GS1 standards to enable progress in an increasingly digitised world – and is one of 116 neutral and independent GS1 organisations operating worldwide.

Whether online, in store or in a hospital, the common language of GS1 standards helps a community of over 58,000 organisations to uniquely identify, describe and track anything, creating greater trust in data for everyone.

GS1 standards have the power to deliver change now and in the future by being able to uniquely identify, describe and track products through global supply chains and improving transparency and consumer safety in wider society – through initiatives such as patient safety programmes and deposit return schemes.

From product barcodes to patient wristbands, we harness the power of GS1 standards to transform the way people work and live.

About DIT and its services

DIT secures UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, and championing free trade. The department can help UK businesses grow in new markets.

UK companies can visit great.gov.uk to:

  • create an export plan,
  • identify high-potential markets for your products,
  • access free online lessons to build your knowledge of selling internationally, 
  • search and apply for live export opportunities,
  • explore e-commerce options and support to sell online internationally, and
  • explore finance and insurance options from UK Export Finance.

Other support on offer includes:

  • UK Export Academy – a free, comprehensive training offer for UK businesses featuring masterclasses, events, mentoring and roundtables.
  • Events – find events relevant to you and register for seminars, workshops and trade shows at events.great.gov.uk.
  • UK Tradeshow Programme – UK companies can apply for help to attend, or exhibit at, select overseas trade shows and conferences, potentially including grants to offset some costs.
  • Export Support Service – a single point of contact to help UK businesses exporting to Europe at gov.uk/ask-export-support-team and 0300 303 8955. The service also supports UK businesses with questions about exporting to Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. 
  • Internationalisation Fund (England only) – English businesses may be eligible for a grant of up to £9,000 to offset costs associated with helping them export, including market research, translation and social media

International Trade Week

  • Following its success in 2021, DIT’s International Trade Week returns this year, running from 31 October to 4 November. Last year’s edition saw more than 3,000 businesses attend over 100 events designed to help businesses to take their first steps on their exporting journey, explore new markets and maximise on the global opportunities created by trade.
  • With exciting announcements and events available to businesses across the country, the week’s activities will encourage UK businesses to sell to the world. DIT is committed to helping UK businesses seize international-trade opportunities that are being opened up by its free-trade deals.
  • Businesses of all sizes and sectors, and from across all parts of the UK are invited to sign up for this year’s virtual and physical events to build their knowledge, skills and discover more about the support available to them.
  • Businesses can sign up for alerts about events in their local area by visiting: https://www.events.great.gov.uk/itw2022.