Meat: Exports

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 23 October 2023.

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Photo of Alec Shelbrooke Alec Shelbrooke Conservative, Elmet and Rothwell

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking with the Secretary of State for Business and Trade to increase levels of meat and poultry exports.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To support delivery of the Government’s Export Strategy the Prime Minister recently announced a food and drink export package to boost export capability and deliver on growing demand for our high-quality UK produce across the world. This included a further expansion of our global agrifood and drink counsellor network who negotiate removal of trade barriers in growing global markets. Within the last year we have successfully secured access for lamb to the USA and apples to India. The export package also included a £2m boost to promotional activity such as trade shows and missions that help drive demand for UK products alongside the GREAT food and drink campaign.

To further support food producers export, we have held a range of National and Regional food summits with dedicated SME workshops to highlight export opportunities and build capability.

Supporting this increased investment in exports we have an ambitious programme of negotiations for free trade agreements which is delivering results. On 31 May the UK’s first new free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand came into force, opening markets for UK producers across all products. On 31 March, the Government substantially concluded negotiations on the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a free trade agreement (FTA) including 11 members: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. This trade deal will see new export opportunities for food producers including exporters of meat and poultry.

We work closely with a wide range of industry representative partners to identify and prioritise barrier removal, and to seize opportunities to streamline the export process for animals and animal products. Alongside opening new market opportunities, we are also increasing resilience and mitigating risks to existing trade. This is particularly the case with poultry where we are working with trade partners to agree regionalisation agreements to allow trade from unaffected regions to continue in the context of Avian Influenza outbreaks.

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