East of England exports are already worth £29 billion per year, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss says British business will have every chance to boost these further after Brexit.
She was speaking on a visit to food manufacturer Signature Flatbreads’ factory in Dunstable. The firm supplies flatbreads such as tortilla wraps, pitta and naan bread to all the UK’s major retailers and food service operators as well as to 30 countries around the world.
- Pictured: Liz Truss on her visit to Signature Flatbreads.
Ms Truss said: “A Dunstable based company selling naan breads in India is the ultimate embodiment of global Britain.
“It’s this type of entrepreneurial, and go-getting, spirit that will help the UK make a success of this once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape Britain.
“We are in a terrific position to take advantage of the new trading horizons open to us after Brexit, and I know that businesses in Bedfordshire and beyond are raring to go.
“The East of England is a flourishing part of the country, and we are hugely committed to ensuring this region and its businesses step out into the world and benefit from our new independent trade policies.”
Signature Flatbreads is continuing its ongoing investment into its UK business with the addition of two high capacity production lines this year, increasing its tortilla and flatbread capacity significantly.
The company, now in private ownership, is intent in ensuring that it continues to support its customers with existing and new variants of flatbreads as they grow their presence in this space.
This investment follows the recent buyout of joint venture partner Aryzta and the return of the business to family ownership, under the stewardship of brothers and joint CEOs Charles and William Eid.
Investing in staff is an important part of the expansion and the company is set to create in excess of 100 new jobs over the next 12 months in the East of England.
Successful exports mean the East of England economy was valued at more than £147 billion, according to recent figures. This represents more than 8% of UK total output.
And a growing export economy has also helped bring unemployment to record low levels in the region at just 3%.
The Eid family, the owners of Signature Flatbreads whose expertise brought naan breads and tortillas to the UK market, is committed to investing in the growth of the business.
Joint chief executive William Eid said: “We believe that a significant investment in capacity today will not only allow us to continue to live up to the values we promise our customers in the UK and around the world in terms of quality and service levels but will also give us the space we need to create fantastic new variants of flatbreads.”
In addition to its UK expansion plans, Signature International Foods, a sister company, is witnessing significant growth in India where it will also be investing in capacity, adding a new tortilla line to the existing state-of-the-art bakery near Mumbai.