Overseas sales of UK food and drink have continued to soar, with record produce exports of more than £22bn demonstrating a worldwide desire for British taste, quality and high standards.
UK food and drink businesses are now selling their products to 217 markets – with sales of milk and cream increasing by 61%, salmon by 23% and pork by 14%.
An increasing thirst for British tipples has also seen bottles of UK beer appearing on shelves as far as Japan and New Zealand, while gin continues to go through a ‘ginaissance’ with international sales of UK brands reaching over £500m. From January to December 2017 we also sent £85 million worth of cheese to France, £21m of chocolate to Belgium and even £2m of tea to China.
Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove said: “Farmers, fisherman and our food producers are all helping to deliver a Brexit bonus – with more exports of British food and drink than ever.
“Contrary to the constant negativity of the doom-mongers, the British economy is going from strength to strength showing that a Green Brexit can deliver for the whole country.
“This growing hunger for UK produce reveals the huge opportunities for producers and manufacturers as the UK prepares to leave the European Union. The US remains the largest market outside of the EU – worth £2.3 billion last year and rising 3% from the previous year.”
Food and Drink Federation Director General Ian Wright CBE said: “UK food and drink is known across the globe for its provenance and quality. We are a proud home to many of the world’s most beloved brands.
“We must now build upon this platform in order to take advantage of new opportunities and the growing global appetite for great British and Northern Irish manufacturing as we leave the EU.
“The Government continues to encourage and support UK business as they consider launching into overseas markets or expanding their current global customer base.”