Please enable cookies to allow videos to display across the site. Click the icon in the bottom left of the site to adjust your preferences.

GS1 UK made strategic partner by the Department for International Trade’s Exporting is GREAT campaign

London, 12 September 2019 - The Department for International Trade (DIT) today announced that global standards organisation GS1 UK has been made a strategic partner for the award-winning Exporting is GREAT campaign

The aim of the partnership is to accelerate growth among British businesses and will include:

  • Joint research and insight sharing to identify UK businesses who are considering exporting or are ready to export to international markets
  • Joint digital initiatives to drive traffic to the government’s hub for international trade advice
  • Joint export events across the UK to promote international trade
  • Collaborating to develop potential products and services to support UK businesses to prosper internationally

GS1 UK helps businesses grow through standardising their supply chain processes, allowing them to export internationally. Ranging from product barcodes to patient wristbands, GS1 UK helps companies increase their visibility, grow their networks by guiding them towards the right barcode identifiers and product information and connect them with multinationals and market opportunities.

Gary Lynch, chief executive officer of GS1 UK, said: 

“We share DIT’s desire to support and showcase innovative British businesses and there is a natural synergy in what we both do. Demand for British products remains high around the world and we want to help give companies the leg-up they need to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities internationally. 

 “We are proud to be part of DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign and that they recognise us a key conduit to international trade. We look forward to continuing to bang the drum at home and abroad that Britain is very much open for business.”

The supply chain standards organisation has long supported the UK government department’s work, following signing an official memorandum of understanding (MOU) in December 2017 to formalise the collaboration. The partnership comes as the campaign steps up its ambition to create an exporting movement that encourages and informs UK businesses to take advantage of international export opportunities in order to accelerate scale-up growth.  

Conrad Bird, Director of Campaigns and Marketing at DIT, said:
“We are proud and delighted to be working with GS1 as a strategic partner for our exporting campaign. They, like the Department for International Trade, are fully committed to supporting UK exporters and we look forward to seeing this partnership grow over the coming months.”

The campaign puts real exporters at the heart of its messaging by building an Export Champion Community, over 1,300 businesses that feature in the campaign’s advertising, PR and social media content and form a nationwide network to advise SME’s and lead by example. 

More than a quarter of the Export Champion Community are currently GS1 UK members. Exporters can join the community by visiting

GS1 UK itself has more than 39,000 members across more than 25 sectors, of which 95% of these members are small and medium businesses.

Chris Lilley, Managing Director of GS1 UK member Lilley’s Cider, said: 
“As consumer demand for our products has grown, we’ve realised the importance of being able to supply companies with a globally recognised system. Introducing GS1 barcodes has allowed us to trade on a larger scale, enabling us to supply major companies that rely on future-proof systems. 

“The combination of GS1’s global barcodes and the support provided by DIT has facilitated Lilley’s successful expansion and the business now exports to Europe and beyond. Recent introductions effected by GS1 UK following an event in the Czech Republic initiated discussions with potential buyers as well as the British Chamber of Commerce in Prague. 

“This demonstrates the cohesion of GS1 and DIT’s partnership which, from first-hand experience, I know can be utilised by SMEs looking for support and advice.”

The not-for-profit organisation’s recent Buying British report found that domestic entrepreneurialism continues to flourish, with 84% of new joiners in 2018 coming from the SME subset. 


About GS1 UK

GS1 UK is just one of 114 neutral and independent GS1 organisations operating worldwide. From product barcodes to patient wristbands, GS1 standards have been transforming the way we work and live for more than 40 years.

Whether online, in store or in a hospital, the common language of GS1 global standards is helping our community of more than 39,000 organisations across Britain to uniquely identify, describe and track anything, creating greater trust in data for everyone. / @GS1UK

For further information or requests for interviews, please contact Tim Haidar: 020 7092 3584 /

About the Department for International Trade (DIT)

The Department for International Trade (DIT) acts to secure UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, and championing free trade.

As an international economic department, the DIT are responsible for:

  • bringing together policy, promotion and financial expertise to break down barriers to trade and investment, and help businesses succeed
  • delivering a new trade policy framework for the UK as we leave the EU
  • promoting British trade and investment across the world
  • building the global appetite for British goods and services

Exporting is GREAT – the UK Government’s most ambitious export-focused marketing campaign ever – aims to build a nationwide movement of companies selling their products and services overseas. The campaign, led by the Department for International Trade (DIT), aligns with the Government’s Export Strategy which sets an ambition to grow the UK’s overseas sales as a share of GDP from 30% to 35% by:

  • encouraging and inspiring businesses that can export but don’t or are just beginning,
  • informing businesses; helping them access the right information, advice and practical assistance,
  • connecting businesses to overseas buyers, markets and each other, and
  • ensuring no viable export fails for lack of finance or insurance from the private sector.

The Exporting is GREAT campaign supports this ambition by focusing its objectives on increasing the number of companies that: believe they can export, know where to go for export support, take action towards exporting, and intend to start (or have started) exporting. It acts on DIT insight and aims to change companies’ export-related attitudes and behaviours by sharing informative, practical and inspirational content, via a wide range of integrated channels. / @tradegovuk