UK imported £23bn worth of food in first six months of 2018

Britain imported £5.4bn worth of fruit and veg in the first six months of 2018
Britain imported £5.4bn worth of fruit and veg in the first six months of 2018

The UK imported £23bn worth of consumable products from around the world further highlighting the UK's declining self-sufficiency, new figures show.

The import data for the first 6 months of 2018 was collected from HM Revenue & Customs and broken down into countries and categories.

Analysis of the 21m tonnes of food imported into Britain from January shows that, for example, £5bn of meat on British shelves comes from overseas.

Primary exporters of chicken, of which Britain received £392m worth, were the Netherlands with 43%, Poland with 17%, and Ireland with 10%.

Britain also imported £425m worth of beef from Ireland and £171m worth of pork from Denmark.

Heavy reliance from Spain

The UK
The UK's reliance on European markets has been exposed

Fruit and vegetables wise, Britain imported £5.4bn worth of it in the first six months of 2018, according to the research by

This amount of fruit and veg came from all over the world, with almost a fifth (19%) of British fruit and veg imports coming from Spain, 11% being exported from the Netherlands and 5% coming from South Africa.

Figures show that £155m and £115m worth of potatoes came from the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively.

Other highlights from European countries include the £52 million worth of seeds from Romania, the £12 million worth of olives and capers from Greece, and £3000 worth of Liechtenstein wine.

The release of the figures follow news that Britain produced 60% of its own food in 2017, and this rate is in long-term decline.

NFU President Minette Batters has urged the government to put the nation’s food security at the top of the political agenda following the release of the stagnating figures.