Trade with Europe post Brexit

At Crafts Council, I led on the training and mentoring offer for the A Future Made International Showcasing programme 2015 – 2018, including two conferences (Flourish 2017 & 2019) to help craft businesses with their exporting ambitions. I developed a close relationship with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and Post Brexit I saw a major gap in support.

DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Sport) goods export figures for 2020 for craft saw a 32% fall in exports between 2017 (last figs) and 2020 from £4.84bn to £3.291bn.

Leading on exporting work for the sector, I published a Post Brexit resource paper (2021); this led to producing an International Exporting Toolkit (2022) and Temporary Export Guide (2023), much revered by DBT who use this to share with other creative industries. This in addition to two trade missions, one in September 2022 and the second, a special event hosted by the British Embassy in Paris during Maison et Objet, January 2023. In interviews with UK craft / design companies, there have been considerable improvements in sales and in the logistics of exporting to Europe.

When Brexit hit, I stopped selling overseas for a while; but galleries and shops started to contact me to ask me to export to them and I didn’t really have a clue, but recently using the Crafts Council Toolkit, I have been able to send export orders out to Europe and America… the first thing it tells you, it can take time and it’s about being prepared, giving you advice on what you need to export successfully.

Carolyn Tripp, ceramicist

I have presented the International Toolkit at Homo Faber in Venice and at World Crafts Council Annual General Meeting in Lisbon, it has now been adapted and translated into two other languages (Portuguese and Ukrainian.)

I am keen to continue my mission to improve trade for UK creative companies; building on the great connections and momentum already gained. Do get in contact if you are interested in developing your exporting ambitions.

Craft Hall at Maison et Objet, Paris

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