NFU Summit discusses boosting UK dairy exports

Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch MP

The NFU has brought together key dairy industry producers, processors and exporters to discuss how the sector can build on ambitious plans to double the value of British dairy exports over the next 10 years.

The NFU Dairy Exports Summit, held jointly with the Department for International Trade, follows the launch last year of the NFU’s Dairy Export Strategy. That document set out a raft of actions and recommendations to enhance the industry’s export performance and sell more great British dairy products overseas.

Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch MP (pictured), opened the conference, before representatives from across the dairy industry examined ways of how the dairy sector and government can best work together to boost dairy exports on the global stage.

NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw said: “British dairy is a success story. It’s an ambitious and innovative sector, producing food such as milk, cheese, yogurt, & butter to some of the world’s highest environmental and animal welfare standards.

“It was great to have the Trade Secretary join us at the conference as the dairy sector wants to work with government to double our dairy exports in the next 10 years. This requires commitment and resource from government, in partnership with industry, to enable this growth.

“With further government investment to boost on-going market development work and to increase the number of agriculture attachés around the world, the industry can then take advantage of this work to boost our dairy exports and help set a global standard when it comes to sustainable climate-friendly dairy products.”

Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch MP, said: “British agriculture, especially our dairy producers, are vital to the UK economy. Last year dairy exporters sold £1.4bn of goods to markets around the world and the work we are doing to strike new trade deals and reduce market access barriers will only see that figure rise further.

“The UK’s reputation is one of high standards, environmental protections and quality goods and I am determined to ensure we remain world leaders in the dairy market. When more farmers trade and export, it means more jobs, higher wages and a stronger economy.”

NFU dairy board chair Michael Oakes added: “The Summit provided a great sounding board for producers, processors and exporters to highlight some of the challenges faced and identify opportunities to help accelerate our growth in exports.

“Over the past few years we have developed a fantastic reputation around the world for quality and already export nearly £2bn worth of dairy products to more than 135 countries across Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East.

“If the UK dairy sector wants to be a major player in global trade and find new emerging markets, and add value to the sector, now is the time to drive our exports and capitalise on the tremendous global support that already exists for great British dairy products.”

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Notes to editor:

  1. The NFU Dairy Exports Summit was held on Wednesday 2nd November at Harper Adams University.
  2. Wednesday 2nd November is Back British Farming Day.
  3. The iconic wheatsheaf badge is representative of the celebratory spirit of Back British Farming Day. It’s made of wheat sourced from farms in the spectacular countryside of Shropshire, and wool from Devon’s Blue Face Leicester sheep which has been spun and dyed blue and red specifically to celebrate British food and farming.
  4. Please contact the NFU press office for images from today’s event.