Dairy Export Programme launched to boost global opportunites for UK dairy

09 November 2023

A photo from inside a dairy parlour.

The UK Government has launched the UK Dairy Export Programme, which aims to provide a wide range of targeted support for farmers to support exports of British dairy products overseas.

The programme will include education sessions on how to boost exports, an inward buyer trade mission, market intelligence support, as well as a UK Dairy Showcase. 

It follows a £1m funding commitment to dairy sector exports that was announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Farm to Fork summit in May 2023.

Speaking at the launch event at Lye Cross Farm in Bristol, Minister for Exports Lord Offord said that the programme will help businesses “grasp exciting new opportunities” across the globe.

Currently, the UK dairy industry exports over £2 billion worth of goods a year to 135 countries.

“This funding commitment will boost on-going market development work and support dairy specific trade promotion.”

NFU Dairy Board chair Michael Oakes

Funding puts UK dairy industry in ‘strong position’

NFU Dairy Board chair Michael Oakes was in attendance at the programme launch event, where he welcomed the funding commitment from the Government and spoke of the NFU’s ambitions to double the value of UK dairy exports in the next decade.

He said: “As set out in the NFU’s Dairy Export Strategy, boosting exports requires commitment and resource from government, working in partnership with industry, to help create market opportunities and enable growth.”

“This funding commitment from government will boost on-going market development work and support dairy specific trade promotion. We must continue to see joint industry and government collaboration on reducing barriers to trade and improving market access.”

“It puts the UK dairy industry in a strong position to bolster our global exports and help us to set a global standard when it comes to trading sustainable, climate-friendly dairy products.”

Read more on our dairy aims and priorities: NFU dairy board strategy and priorities

The programme was formed in ‘collaborative consultation’ between DBT (Department for Business & Trade), the Dairy Export Taskforce and the wider UK dairy industry. The Dairy Export Taskforce, made up of representatives from the NFU, Dairy UK, AHDB and dairy businesses, aims to examine ways to reduce trade barriers for dairy, improve market access and identify new opportunities for growth.

International trade remains ‘critical’ to sector

The news has also been welcomed by AHDB Chief Executive Tim Rycroft, who said the organisation will “continue to work collaboratively with government and industry” to help get the most out of opportunities for its levy payers.

He said the export programme will support the AHDB’s ambition to help increase market access by “championing the reputation of UK products overseas, as well as encouraging more businesses to export”.

This was echoed by Peter Dawson of Dairy UK, who said the organisation looks forward to working closely with DBT to “maximise its benefit for dairy exporters and the dairy supply chain in general”.

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