Food Importers in the UK – BestFoodImporters 2024 Update

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Food Importers
uk food importers
4 min read

The Brexit significantly affected the British food sector and in this context, the UK food importers faced a challenging period during which their ability to adapt and find new suppliers proved crucial. These turbulent times, however, offered new opportunities for producers worldwide who were able to enter one of the top global markets.

Starting January 2024  new border controls for certain food imports from the European Union were implemented, marking the first instance since Brexit. This change introduces additional administrative burdens for businesses food importers and distributors and poses the risk of price hikes for consumers. Fresh produce such as meat, eggs, fish, and dairy are now subject to new requirements, including the need for “export health certificates” and other documentation, prior to their entry into the United Kingdom.

A detailed guide created by the UK Government where you can read about all the documents and procedures that are needed to import food and drink from the EU and Northern Ireland to Great Britain can be found here

Starting 30 April 2024, the UK implemented some new rules for the import of various meat preparations, minced meats or mechanically separated meat. According to the new laws,  meat preparations and minced meat must either be deep frozen or come from countries approved to export chilled goods to Great Britain. Mechanically separated meat (pig or poultry) can also be chilled.

The following countries are approved to export chilled minced meats, chilled meat preparations, and chilled or deep frozen mechanically separated meat (pig or poultry) to Great Britain:  EU countries, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the Faroe Islands.  Other countries will need to apply for approval to export these commodities to the UK here

UK food importers and distributors have faced a particularly challenging time. The additional bureaucracy has slowed down the flow of goods, leading to potential food waste and higher logistical costs. Smaller businesses, especially those specializing in niche EU products, have been disproportionately affected, with some being forced to stop trading altogether.

The long-term impact of Brexit will depend on the government’s ability to navigate these challenges and capitalize on potential opportunities. In the meantime, consumers are likely to continue to feel the pinch in the form of higher food prices and potentially less choice on supermarket shelves.

For food producers looking to enter the UK market, more than 1300 other importers are available in our databases.

Below you can find information about 5 important food importers and distributors from the United Kingdom. In the BestFoodImporters platform, you will find a lot more details, including data about the contact persons in charge of purchasing.

1. Lamex Food Group

One of the top 100 private UK companies, Lamex managed to become in over 50 years a global trade network with more than 60 food traders that operate from 15 countries. The company has a wide focus and deals with an extensive range of food products, from meat to honey.

Address:  Turnford Place, Great Cambridge Road, Turnford, Hertfordshire
Phone:  +44 (0) 1992 473 888
Top products imported:  Meat, Seafood, Fruit & Vegetables, Honey, Dairy, Juices

2. IPL – International Procurement & Logistics

IPL is one of the largest food importers in the UK, operating in the vegetables, beverages and nuts sectors. Part of the ASDA family since 2009, IPL works with suppliers from all around the world.

Address:  Unit 1, Foxbridge Way, Normanton, West Yorkshire
Phone:  01924 244444
Top products imported: Fruit & Vegetables, Nuts, Juice

3. Grace Foods UK

Grace Foods UK is a subsidiary of Grace Kennedy, a US$1bn global consumer goods and finance group. The company established a multi-category sales, marketing, import and manufacturing business for both its own and a large number of world brands.

Address:  Grace House Centrapark, Bessemer Road, Welwyn Garden City,  Hertfordshire
Phone:  01707 322332
Top products imported:  World and Ethnic Foods

4. Peter Gilding & Company

An important British fresh produce importer that also operates a 9700 sq. metres of chill storage that can accommodate 7,000+ pallets, Peter Gilding & Co sources from both Europe and South America – Italy, Spain and Chile.

Address:  Knowsley Business Park, Caddick Road, Prescot, Merseyside
Phone:  +44 (0) 151 548 7070
Top products imported:  Fresh Produce

5. Korean Foods

Korean Foods is an Oriental foods specialist established in 1999 that imports Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai and other Asian products directly from suppliers in the Far East including Korea, Japan, Thailand and the USA.

Address:  Unit 5, Wyvern Industrial Estate, Beverley Way, New Malden, Surrey
Phone:  020 8949 2238
Top products imported:  Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai foods

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