New mentor scheme to help farmers looking to export

The agri-mentoring scheme will see leading figures offering help to farmers wanting to export
The agri-mentoring scheme will see leading figures offering help to farmers wanting to export

A new mentor scheme launched by the government and NFU will help farming businesses who are looking to export for the first time.

The scheme, run by the Department for International Trade (DIT), AHDB and NFU, will match experienced exporters with farmers and food producers.

The mentors will give practical help and advice to would-be exporters through roundtables, mentoring sessions and newsletters.

There is global demand for British agriculture and food, with the UK exporting £21.7bn worth of food and drink in 2020.

And by 2030, two-thirds of the world’s middle classes will be in Asia, creating new export opportunities for British farming.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, said the government was 'determined' to help farmers make the most of the new post-Brexit trade deals.

"This new mentor programme matches experienced exporters with our brilliant farmers and food producers to help them open even more doors to the fastest-growing consumer markets.

"We are working in lockstep with partners like the AHDB, the NFU to unleash our global exporting potential and fly the flag for British food and drink."

The AHDB added that the scheme would provide 'huge benefits' to farmers, whilst also allowing mentors to help shape new exporters to meet demand for British agriculture.

The scheme will allow businesses to share their expertise with would-be exporters and equip them with the tools they need to sell their products around the world.

The first round of unpaid mentors will focus on diary and red meat, however seafood and packaged/processed food mentoring programmes will follow later in the year.

The scheme is part of DIT’s new strategy to boost agri exports into new markets, as 97% of the food and drink sector are SMEs but only 1 in 5 of food and drink businesses export.

Earlier this year DIT launched a new campaign 'Open Doors' to encourage food producers to take advantage of opportunities in markets like the Indo-Pacific region.