NFU unveils ambitious dairy export strategy

Headshot of Michael Oakes Dairy board

The NFU has published a new export strategy to help the British dairy sector unlock new opportunities in international markets.

The report, to be officially launched at UK Dairy Day on 15 September, identifies a raft of actions and recommendations that will enhance the industry’s export performance and add value through selling more great British dairy products abroad.

The NFU’s Dairy Export Strategy key asks are:

  • Form a new taskforce which aims to improve and increase dairy exports
  • The British dairy sector to collaborate on a new strategy to grow dairy exports
  • Government investment, in partnership with the industry, to drive dairy exports through trade deals, agriculture counsellors and market development
  • Encourage investment in domestic processing capacity to take advantage of new markets
  • Provide a stable regulatory environment for dairy farmers to thrive
  • Develop an increased focus and build on existing work by AHDB and Red Tractor on dairy exports and market development.

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Download the full report

NFU members can download the NFU Dairy Export Strategy: The case for growing our dairy exports.

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NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes said:

“The British dairy industry is an ambitious and innovative one, producing food such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter to some of the world’s highest animal welfare and environmental standards.

“We have developed a fantastic reputation around the world for quality and already export over £1.6bn worth of dairy products to more than 135 countries across Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East."

Following a spell of uncertainty for dairy farmers faced by market volatility, the country’s exit from the EU, and the Covid-19 pandemic, the NFU dairy team believe the time is right to take a fresh look at exporting opportunities and capitalise on the tremendous global support for great British dairy products.

Michael Oakes continued:

"The NFU’s dairy export strategy sets out a number of recommendations that we believe will enhance the industry’s export performance and could double the value of British dairy exports over the next 10 years.

"It demonstrates why by expanding our markets overseas, we can strengthen and enhance the domestic milk market, as well as cementing our position as a profitable and progressive industry and help set the global standard when it comes to climate-friendly food.

"In particular, we are calling on government to work with the dairy industry to set up a new Dairy Export Taskforce, whose sole purpose would be to grow dairy exports and investigate the recommendations outlined in this report.

“There’s no doubt we are at a crucial time for British farming, as the government seeks to do free trade deals with countries around the world," said Michael.

"The strategy also makes clear the importance of the British dairy brand on the global stage not being undermined by trade deals that allow imports of dairy products that fail to meet our own sector’s high standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection.”