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UK government announces export supports for farmers and agrifood industry

Plans to help the UK’s farmers and food and drink businesses boost exports have been announced.

22 September 2021, at 7:30am

The UK agri-food sector contributes around £20bn in exports each year, yet only 20% of companies sell their goods overseas. The exports initiative will help farmers access the UK’s considerable export potential.

It includes:

  • appointing more dedicated "agri-food attaches" to act as representatives on the ground to unlock key markets across the world. This will build on the excellent teams already working in our Embassies around the world;
  • establishing a Food and Drink Exports Council to work collaboratively to expand our food and drink exports strategy. We will engage closely with Devolved Administrations and others on the design and implementation of the Export Council;
  • strengthening our technical expertise as well as our farmers and producers’ understanding of export markets to ensure that food and drink exporters are able to benefit from market opportunities.

The exports initiative will launch later in the year.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

"Our farmers are the lifeblood of our nation – producing home grown food and acting as stewards of our natural environment.

"We want people at home and abroad to be lining up to buy British. The support that we have announced will enable our farmers and producers to take advantage of new opportunities and fly the flag for UK produce around the world."

NFU President Minette Batters said:

"The NFU has long called for significant government investment which enables a partnership approach to international trade opportunities for British farmers. This is a positive step in the right direction and I welcome this new commitment to put people on the ground with the technical expertise to open up new markets. I look forward to seeing more detail on this proposal and working with government to boost our agri-food exports abroad."

This package further builds upon the UK's plans to refresh the International Action Plan for food and drink (2016 – 2020) which we are already working with the sector on developing, and strong promotional footprint, including international promotion of the best of British food and drink through the GREAT campaign.

New trade deals are opening doors for British agriculture and food and drink businesses around the world, and the Department for International Trade offers free advice and support to help businesses take advantage of new global opportunities.