The UK food and drink exports increased by 15% to £5.9bn in the third quarter of this year, according to the quarterly Exports Snapshot released by Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

The FDF is said to be the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry in the UK.

The report suggested that this year’s Q3 saw further growth, primarily due to the first half results earlier this year.

FDF noted that from January to September, countries like Ireland, France and the US were the top three destinations for UK food and drink in terms of overall value.

The US is reported to have been the top non-EU market for the UK in terms of exports of food and drink, which reached £1.6bn and registered a 7.7% growth rate.

As per the report, exports to the non-EU markets such as Philippines, Latvia and Iceland have increased in comparison to the EU market during the third quarter.

“The continued growth of food and drink exports demonstrates the strength of UK production in international markets.”

FDF director general Ian Wright said: “The continued growth of food and drink exports demonstrates the strength of UK production in international markets.

“UK food and drink is recognised throughout the world for its quality and we must be ready to take advantage of the opportunities created by leaving the EU.”

“Exports to non-EU markets did outperform those to EU markets in the last quarter, but the EU remains our number one trading partner.

“With fewer than one in five food and drink manufacturers exporting, it is vital that we continue to work closely with Government in order to take advantage of the opportunities to sell Great British and Northern Irish food and drink abroad.”

In its report, FDF also indicated that China, India and the UAE have emerged as the top three markets, which UK exporters would like to target.