Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Call for Statement to Encourage Innovation; ECONOMICS Robert Gibson Robert.Gibson@ncjmedia.Co.UK

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Call for Statement to Encourage Innovation; ECONOMICS Robert Gibson Robert.Gibson@ncjmedia.Co.UK

Article excerpt

Byline: robert gibson

AS speculation mounts over the content of this year's Autumn Statement, the boss of one of the North East's best known food companies has called for further incentives to help UK businesses innovate and focus on their R&D. The Stokesley-headquartered Quorn Foods, a global leader in meat alternatives, has increased sales by 20% over the last two years and credits positive steps taken by the Government - including the introduction of the Patent Box and above-the-line R&D tax credit - with creating a welcoming business environment for innovation in the UK.

Now, the successful exporter is asking Chancellor George Osborne to build on such achievements by helping UK businesses tap into demand from emerging markets for British brands and goods.

The calls come as the company looks to embark on an ambitious programme of global expansion, building on the 15 international markets in which its products are currently sold.

Last month, it officially launched in Germany, Denmark and Finland and is currently evaluating several other European markets, including Spain and France.

Quorn chief executive Kevin Brennan said: "As a business, we're seeing huge growth opportunities as people globally are rethinking their meat eating habits and becoming more aware of the ethical, health and environmental benefits offered by alternative sources of protein such as Quorn.

"We've recently expanded into three new international markets and we have plans to expand into several more over the course of the next few years, as we look to transform Quorn into a $1bn [PS640m] business, four to five times its current size. Such an ambitious programme of international growth would have been much harder had it not been for the steps taken by the Government to create a positive environment for innovation and export in the UK. …

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