New action plan targets £3 billion boost for UK food & drink exports

An UK government action plan, designed to grow food and drink exports to the tune of nearly £3 billion, was launched today by Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, during a visit to SIAL Paris, the world’s largest food trade fair.

The plan, which identifies nine “best potential” markets across 18 countries, includes the promise of sustained efforts to secure “new access” for UK poultry exports to Japan.

“With over £10 billion worth of food and drink sold overseas in the last seven months and exports up almost 6% compared to 2015, there is no doubt we are open for business and ready to trade,” said the Environment Secretary, after meeting UK exhibitors at the international event.

“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.”

The aim is that over the next five years Government and industry will help exporters sell more products overseas, providing increased business support, mentoring and training to give new companies the confidence and skills to start exporting.

“The Government has put trade at the heart of its agenda with the creation of the Department for International Trade and we are working hard to help UK companies take advantage of the global demand for British goods and services,” said the UK’s International Trade Minister, Mark Garnier

Food and Drink Federation Director General, Ian Wright, added: “We are supporting the Government’s export drive with an ambition to grow branded food and drink exports by a third, by 2020, to £6 billion. Export growth is hugely important to our sector and we hope the new plan will open more channels and provide direct support to both new and existing food and drink exporters.”

Mr Wright also said that the plan will target additional market opportunities in India, USA, Canada, China and the Gulf, pointing out that work is already underway, across these countries, to secure new access for beef and poultry to Japan, lamb and beef to the USA and pork to China.

Headline image shows Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, in pre-lunch conservation on the AHDB stand at SIAL

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