Trade deal with South Korea – NFU response

13 February 2023

A graphic of a docking ship, a plane and a lorry to represent international trade

The DIT (Department for International Trade) has launched a consultation on an enhanced trade with South Korea and the NFU wants to hear from you to help form its response. Read on to find out how you can give your views. 

South Korea has a population of 57.1 million and a GDP per capita of $34,757 compared to the UK with a population of 67 million and a GDP per capita of $47,334.40.

There is strong potential for meat and dairy products to the region, particularly for pork where we already have market access.

Thinking about potential future trade negotiations between the UK and South Korea, the DIT is asking which aspects of the UK's current trading arrangements with South Korea could be improved or changed. 

2 February 2023

Consultation closed

This consultation has now closed.

27 January 2023

NFU submits response

The NFU supports the government’s ambition to negotiate a new and more ambitious trade deal for the future.

We agree that removing and lowering remaining tariffs for UK exports of food & drink, making it easier for UK companies to do business with South Korea, and deepening our bilateral relationships in important shared policy areas, should all be key priorities and objectives of UK negotiators.

Rules of origin

The NFU believes that only goods which genuinely originate in either country (or groups of countries) party to an FTA should qualify for preferential treatment.

In this context, we support an outcome on RoO (Rules of Origin) which encourages the use of domestically produced raw materials and does not incentivise the use of imports any more than today.


The NFU believes that the mutual lowering and removal of tariffs for UK exports of food & drink, making it easier for UK companies to do business with Korean customers, as well as deepening our bilateral relationships in important shared policy areas, should all be key priorities and objectives of UK negotiators.

Environment and green growth

The NFU is clear that agri-food goods which are do not meet the legal minimum of UK production standards should not then be imported into the UK.

The NFU has set the ambition for UK agriculture to reach net zero by 2040 and believes the government should be using policy levers, including trade policy, to incentivise higher standards of production and climate-friendly farming models.

Animal welfare

The NFU believes that to enable and support a thriving British agriculture sector it is crucial that the UK’s future trade policy respects our high domestic production standards.

To do otherwise would contradict the government’s own stated commitment and would risk compromising our high animal welfare and environmental standards and would undermine British farmers.

Customs procedures

To ensure UK businesses can make the most of the opportunity the South Korean market presents, negotiators should seek to reduce barriers and streamline market access procedures.

NFU members can read the response in full: NFU members | Call for input – Trade with South Korea.

12 December 2022

NFU seeks member views to form response

The NFU would like to hear opinions from members on trade deals with South Korea.

Before responding, you can read the member briefing which our team of experts have put together, detailing how any trade agreement will affect each sector. 

Meat and Dairy in particular pose significant opportunities, with the NFU identifying securing access for British Beef to South Korea as a priority. 

Read: NFU members | Trade deal with South Korea consultation

Please email [email protected] by 16 January 2023 with thoughts and information on:

  • concerns about specific imports
  • information about specific farming practices
  • opportunities to send agri-food products
  • any other views surrounding trade with South Korea

The NFU will be responding to the consultation, so any views submitted will feed into our response.

9 December 2022

Government launches consultation on trading with South Korea

The UK and South Korea already have an Association Agreement in place from the UK’s time as part of the EU however this is based on text from 2011.

The DIT are now looking for input from relevant stakeholders on where changes or improvements could be made and what should be top of the agenda during trade talks with South Korea. 

They have therefore launched a consultation which members can respond to directly on the government's website: GOV.UK | Trade with South Korea: call for input.

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  • The DIT announces a call for input from the public, businesses and relevant stakeholders on how trading with South Korea can be improved with a view towards negotiating a FTA (Free Trade Agreement).
  • The NFU sought opinions and views from members to form part of its response to the consultation.