Global ambitions for British food and drink could boost economy by nearly £3 billion

An ambitious new action plan to grow exports and bring a £2.9 billion boost to the UK economy has been launched today by Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom at the world’s largest food trade fair in Paris.

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 today 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

Speaking today 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.

International Trade Minister, Mark Garnier, said:

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. This ambitious new plan shows the strength of our commitment to boosting UK food and drink exports around the world.

Whether it’s helping our businesses to understand target markets, providing access to trade missions or advice on export finance, we are committed to helping budding exporters realise their dreams of building a global business.

Ian Wright, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation, said:

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. We hope that the International Action Plan for Food and Drink will open more channels and provide direct support to new and existing food and drink exporters.

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.

The Great British Food Unit which was launched earlier this year to promote exports, support inward investment and champion the excellence of British food and drink at home and abroad will support industry to achieve the targets set out in the plan.

The new International Action Plan is a key strand of the Government’s Great British Food campaign, which was introduced to celebrate our world-class food industry and culture, drive growth and jobs in the sector, and establish Britain’s reputation as a great food nation.

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