Record £1.2bn reached for Yorkshire’s food & drink exports

UK exporters held back by Brexit, tariffs & exchange rates, survey finds
Credit: Kolokythas Photography

Food and drink exports from Yorkshire and the Humber reached a record £1.2 billion in the year to March 2019, according to HMRC figure.

Export figures show meat was the most valuable Yorkshire food and drink export, totalling £172 million and growing by 6% over the past 12 months.

Dairy and eggs exports saw the biggest growth over the period, with exports up by 16% and trade worth £88 million.

The figures reveal a growing appetite for British food and drink in China, with a 26% boost in Yorkshire produce to the country since March 2018.

Many businesses throughout Yorkshire have been capitalising on overseas thirst for UK produce with support from the Food is GREAT campaign.

Mark Robson

A cross-departmental initiative between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT), the campaign aims to showcase UK food and drink abroad and help companies export.

“Yorkshire is famed for its superb homegrown produce, and it is fantastic to see the region is exporting more dairy and meat than ever before around the world,” said Food Minister David Rutley.

“The appetite for British food and drink in markets such as China is only growing, and regions like Yorkshire are in a prime position to capitalise on this global demand.”

Mark Robson, Head of Regions, Yorkshire and the Humber, at DIT, added: “With UK produce taking centre stage in multiple international markets and opportunity particularly swelling in China, Australia and Japan, now’s the time for Yorkshire businesses to step into the spotlight and put their goods on the table.

“If businesses across the region are cracking markets on every continent, there’s no reason why others can’t savour the same success.

“We have International Trade Advisers on hand throughout Yorkshire to guide producers at every stage of their export journey, and staff on the ground in over 100 countries to eliminate trade hurdles linked to legislation, tax, labelling requirements, and other factors.”