While many people were going hungry in England, many companies were really rising in popularity and thriving. The economy of England, primarily perceived by its rapid growth and large companies was relatively a good economy that had been sparked by the industrial revolution.
Due to many things being in mass production, this also meant a large demand for specific items which were not readily accessible at the time. Not to mention that many things gained popularity quickly, such as tea.
Prior to the Victorian era, tea parties were non-existent. In fact, people would typically just wait to eat a light lunch and a late supper. However, royalty and the other upper class began to see that this was not the ideal way to live from day to day. Therefore, tea became a very popular item to drink which would subside the hunger and hold people over until supper time arrived.
This being the case there were numerous parties where only tea was served and it could also be purchased at many commercial establishments. The demand took over and spurred and interest to trade to gain more tea than what was currently available in England. This made China one of the most prominent trade partners of England during the Victorian era.
China was also a major trading partner because of their fine silk. As many dresses were being mass produced from this material, there simply was not enough available to create as many as there was a demand for. This is a simple situation of why trading for such items was great for China.
There were also many other trading partners in the Victorian era. England saw that they could really benefit by working with other countries instead of against them. It was something unique for the vast majority of Kingdoms in this time period who were typically always bitter rivals with one another.
Unfortunately, though, some trading partners were treated badly, including many of those from Africa and places like India. Many wars, feuds, and ill feelings towards one another directly derive from some of these exact partnerships during the Victorian era where one country took advantage of someone else.