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UK urges food manufacturers and farmers to target Asian middle class




The British government launched a campaign to promote food and beverage exports after Brexit, urging food manufacturers and farmers to target the Asian middle class.

Food producers should take advantage of trade dynamics such as the high meat prices in Asia and the US appetite for imported beef, International Trade Minister Liz Truss added on Tuesday that the government will provide advice, mentoring and master classes just like the UK. Cut new trade deals.

“By the end of this year, 66% of the world’s middle class consumers are expected to be found in Asia. They are hungry for the highest quality food and beverages,” Truss said.

She added: “Our farmers need access to new markets around the world, but we need to remove the barriers that keep them.”

The Open Doors campaign is supported by the largest agricultural trade group, the National Farmers Union and industry group, the Food and Drink Federation. However, other trade statistics pointed out that since Brexit came into full force earlier this year, food manufacturers and farmers have been struggling with the impact of new trade barriers with EU’s British neighbors.

David Henig, co-founder of the British Trade Forum, said on Twitter: [the Department for International Trade] Not in good shape. Sure we can and can export some foods all over the world (most obviously Scotch), but the lost local market is difficult to replace. . .


“Basically, distorting trade policy for local markets is unprecedented among developed democracies, and for good reason.”

According to the British Food and Beverage Federation, UK food and beverage exports surpassed 23 billion pounds in 2019, but added that the pandemic trade fell by almost 13% in the first three quarters of 2020. About 60% of exports last year were exported to the European Union, but far more than those imported from the continent.

James Withers, chief executive of trading agency Scottish Food and Drink, said red meat exports from Scotland to the EU are worth 25 times more than exports to Asia in 2019.

Certain problems after Brexit have affected the UK fishery industry, and it turns out that many exports are virtually banned as the UK is subject to EU health and safety regulations on imports from third countries. Pig exports have also been hit hard, leading to a surplus on British farms, with many small food companies reporting significant costs and delays due to new EU import requirements.

But while the food sector is battling these issues, there is hope to increase exports elsewhere. The UK said in January it would apply to join the CPTPP Free Trade Zone, which consists of 11 Asia Pacific countries including Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

Truss’ campaign has short-term funding of £2m and will include new employees in her department, she said.

NFU’s Chairman Minette Batters said, “We’ve been lazy exporters throughout our time in the EU.”

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