FDF publishes trade strategy to boost British imports and exports

Posted: 9 June 2022 | | No comments yet

The FDF has published a report which provides a framework for the UK Government to use when negotiating new trade deals with other countries.

uk food trade

The UK relies on food imports and is also a major exporter of certain goods

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is publishing a Trade and Investment Strategy that it says “champions the interests of the UK’s food and drink industry, to help deliver growth in communities across the country alongside strengthening choice and affordability for UK households at a time of rising inflation”.

The FDF’s strategy sets out an approach on which the food and drink sector can partner with government to deliver “tangible gains” for the UK economy.

The Federation has created this strategy with the aim of maximising the benefits of food and drink trade by driving up exports, ensuring the UK is a global hub for innovation, and ensuring that imports support consumer choice, affordability and the UK’s food security.

“The food and drink sector aims to offer shoppers unrivalled choice at affordable prices across a huge range of products,” said FDF Chief Executive Karen Betts .

“Trade is an important part of that, since we rely on imports of many ingredients that aren’t produced in the UK, like spices. We also export both traditional and innovative British products around the world, from our world-famous biscuits to gluten-free foods and salmon.”

“Our report looks at how government and industry put food and drink at the heart of the UK’s new, independent trade policy, and ensures this supports companies in our sector to grow and thrive,” she added.

“Trade is also a means of curbing rising costs, which is particularly important now at a time of soaring inflation. This strategy sets out the strong partnership we want to continue to foster with the UK Government and Devolved Administrations, so our industry can play its full role in growing UK exports and in using trade to deliver economic growth and prosperity across the UK, to communities up and down the country.”

“We want to see businesses fulfilling their trade and exporting potential, boosting green trade and growing our economy,” added Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP.

“The UK is home to world-class food and drink, and our ambitious trade deals will continue to open new markets for the excellent products made in the UK and sold to the world.”

The strategy highlights the importance of imports both for the UK’s food supply and as a key component to expand long-term growth in sustainable value-added exports, ensuring innovation and the creation of new jobs, according to the FDF. It adds that any new “preferential trade agreements must also insist on the need for high standards of production, environmental sustainability and animal welfare while recognising the unique features of the UK food and drink supply mix”.

“Our food industry is bigger than the automotive and aerospace industries combined – and more evenly dispersed across our country,” said the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice MP.

“There are opportunities for our food and drink businesses in markets around the world, and we want everyone to be lining up to buy British. I look forward to working with the sector to ensure that businesses across the UK can take advantage of the opportunities ahead.”

The FDF’s UK Trade and Investment Strategy has been produced in partnership with Global Counsel and, according to the Federation, will enable the UK Government to deliver “the greatest impact for the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector”.

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