UK - A Great British Food Unit has been established to turbo-charge UK food exports and support industry growth plans, like their target of increasing manufactured food exports to £6 billion by 2020.
The long term ambition of the new unit is to match France and Germany, which both currently export more than double the UK in terms of the value of food and drink, as well as generating an additional 5,000 jobs in food and drink manufacturing.
For the first time ever it will bring together experts in exports and investment from Defra and across Government to help even more businesses sell their world class produce around the globe.
During a visit to the Weetabix factory to launch the unit, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: "We produce more new food products each year than France and Germany combined. My long term aspiration is for the UK to match both these countries in terms of the value of exports so our food and drink becomes a worldwide phenomenon.
"It is vital for our economic future that we make British food and farming all it can be – over the next five years we will do that by backing big business, supporting punchy start-ups and embracing our rich food heritage."
NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “With 2016 being designated the year of British food, I am encouraged by the Government’s move in establishing a unit which will help promote and celebrate great British food.
"Anything which can showcase British farming and farmers, not just for they food they produce, but for the value the British farming industry adds to the economy, employment and our beautiful and diverse countryside is a step in the right direction.
“What I want to see now is more export markets being made available to British farmers to sell to countries such as China, Japan, the USA and Saudi Arabia. Over the past 18 months, all sectors, particularly livestock and dairy have been under financial pressure from low prices.
"That’s why we need to create more opportunities to get more great British products into new global markets."
TheFishSite News Desk