NFU seeks to boost UK agri-food exports by 30% by 2030

Iconic products, such as Cheddar cheese and British lamb, are known for their quality and high standards they are produced to, the NFU says
Iconic products, such as Cheddar cheese and British lamb, are known for their quality and high standards they are produced to, the NFU says

British agri-food exports could grow by 30 percent by 2030, the NFU has said as part of its new export strategy unveiled today.

The union has outlined its vision to bring the total value of UK agri-food exports to over £30 billion in eight years time.

Called the ’30, 30, 30+ ambition', the strategy is designed to showcase the British brand and put British food on plates across the world.

It contains a 10-point plan, including identifying and unlocking target markets by removing market access barriers through free trade negotiations.

The plan calls on more investment in technical expertise at home and abroad, such as match-funding farmer and processor levy contributions to the AHDB and ensuring the UK’s new agricultural attaches have sufficient resources.

The strategy also urges the government to review current marketing and promotional activities for agri-food exports, particularly under the GREAT campaign.

Welcoming the report's launch, NFU President Minette Batters said that British food was recognised all around the world due to farmers' high production standards and sustainability.

She said: “As we enter a new world where the UK aims to be a major player in global trade, and our farmers will be facing much more competition from imports, now is the time to drive our agri-food exports.

“With an estimated 2 billion more middle class consumers by 2050, we know there will be appetite to buy British food around the world. Our farmers can offer the quality, innovative and premium products they demand.

“We also shouldn’t be afraid to take a leaf out of our competitors’ playbooks either. The likes of Australia, New Zealand and the USA are competitive exporters because they put the experts and resources into their target markets.

"That’s something our government should be looking to emulate and work with farmers to achieve.”

Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) welcomed the new strategy, calling it 'important' in the face of growing concern over food security and sustainability.

Gwyn Howells, CEO of of the red meat organisation, said: “In Wales we’re proud of our record on trade – with lamb and beef exports from Wales worth about £200m a year to the local economy.

"Our strategy for growth is focused both on mature markets in Europe and emerging markets such as the Middle East where we are well placed to offer a high-quality and environmentally-sustainable product.

“Trade policy as a whole needs to take full account of sustainability and food security. We produce red meat to world-leading standards in terms of emissions."