Government Launches Export Plan for UK Agricultural Produce

19 October 2016, at 1:00am

UK - The UK's Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, has launched an ambitious new action plan to grow the UK's food and drink exports, bringing a 2.9 billion boost to the economy.

The new International Action Plan for Food and Drink will see Government and industry working together to boost food and drink exports over the next five years.

The plan, launched at SIAL, the world’s leading food and drink trade fair, identifies nine markets across 18 countries with the best potential for growth. It sets out new ways to tap into these markets, including targeting:

  • An extra £185 million in exports to Japan through demand for classic British products like tea, jam and biscuits and new opportunities for British beef
  • An additional £293 million of exports to Australia and New Zealand, where there’s a growing thirst for our beer and cider
  • A £215 million export boost in Mexico and Latin America through growing demand for a wide range of British products including our whisky and gin

The plan has three main strategic directives which cover encouraging UK companies to export their products, helping companies gain the expertise needed in order to export and building opportunities in key markets.

The plan aims for the biggest export growth to be to Germany where an additional £610 million is hoped to be generated over five years, mainly through the growing demand for speciality food, free-from, vegan and organic products.

An additional £579 million is targeted to come from trade with the US and Canada, mainly from beef, lamb and alcohol.

India's growing middle class may lead to an additional £349 million in exports, and an additional £215 million is hoped to be made from trade with Mexico and Latin America.

The plan also sees a continued increase in exports to China (+£405 million), which will be derived mainly from pork, beef, lamb, poultry and premium seafood.

Speaking at SIAL, the Environment Secretary said: "With over £10 billion worth of food and drink sold overseas in the last seven months and exports up almost six per cent compared to 2015, there is no doubt we are open for business and ready to trade.

"Our food and drink is renowned for having the very best standards of animal welfare, quality and safety and I want even more of the world to enjoy what we have to offer.

"Scottish salmon, Welsh beef, Northern Irish whiskey and English cheese are already well-known globally and I want us to build on this success by helping even more companies send their top quality food and drink abroad.

"Together over the next five years Government and industry will help exporters sell more overseas and provide business support, mentoring and training to give new companies the confidence and skills to start exporting.

Ian Wright, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation, added: "The plan will target additional markets including India, USA and Canada, China and the Gulf. Across these countries work is underway to secure new access – notably, market access for beef and poultry to Japan, lamb and beef to the USA, and pork to China."

Further Reading

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