Brexit warning as Welsh food and drink exports reach new highs

The Welsh government has insisted Wales’ food and drinks industry must continue to prosper following a record year of success
The Welsh government has insisted Wales’ food and drinks industry must continue to prosper following a record year of success

The Welsh government has warned that the country's food and drink industry must not be 'sold down the river' as figures show a record-breaking turnover of nearly £7.5bn.

The latest industry figures reveal a turnover of £7.473bn in 2019, surpassing the target set in 2014 to achieve 30% growth and reach £7bn of sales by 2020.

A major reason for this success is the growth in exports to the EU, as 73% of all Welsh food and drink exports went to the bloc in 2018.

Now the Welsh government has warned that Brexit will be a 'big disruptor' for many food and drink firms.



During a visit to ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University, rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths spoke of her hopes for the future of the sector in a post-EU world.

“I am in regular contact with ministerial counterparts in the UK government and my message is clear, this sector is a real success story which we need to continue to promote and develop; it should not be overlooked or sold down the river,” she said.



The minister urged the UK government to consider the impact on the 24,000 people who works in Wales’ food and drink industry and the 229,000 employed in the wider supply chain.

“We have so much to celebrate here in Wales. I have every confidence, if we continue to support our food and drink industry and with the right economic conditions in place, our growing reputation as a food and drink nation will only get stronger,” she added.