11 UK agri-food and drink attachés met at 10 Downing Street this morning (Monday, November 20) to work to remove trade barriers and identify emerging international markets.
The attachés are based in British embassies and consulates around the world – in Canada, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Kenya, The Gulf, India, Japan, China, Thailand and Vietnam.
The attachés will meet with ministers, farmers and producers over the course of this week and tour the UK, from meeting with producers of whisky and seafood in Scotland to visiting egg farms and meat processors in Shropshire.
The UK government said that, in 2023 alone, the attachés have supported the government in resolving 42 agri-food barriers worth an estimated £340 million per year.
Recent successes include securing market access for poultry to Tunisia, sheep embryos to the USA, pork to Chile, trout ova to China and pet food to South Korea.
Secretary of State for Food and Farming Steve Barclay, said: “Backing British farmers is one of my priorities at Defra and our attachés do vital work to ensure they get the best possible deals to export their world-class produce.
“We are expanding the attaché network even further next year, so that our excellent food and drink can continue to reach all corners of the globe.”
While in the UK, the attachés will meet with Food and Farming Minister Mark Spencer and attend an industry brunch hosted by president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Minette Batters.
They will also partake in further meetings with the Scotch Whisky Association, Seafood Scotland, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Food and Drink Export Council.
Food and Farming Minister Mark Spencer said: “I look forward to meeting with our agri-food attachés in Westminster this week and thanking them for the brilliant work they do on behalf of our farmers and food producers.
“The best of British food and drink is now being enjoyed around the world, from Canada to Vietnam – in part thanks to their skilled negotiating and dedication to seeking out new export opportunities.”
Minister for Exports Lord Offord said: “Growing the agri, food and drink sector is key to boosting our economy and will be vital in our race to reach £1 trillion of exports by 2030.
“Thanks to the work of our agri-food attachés, we’re helping more businesses break into new markets and benefit from exciting new opportunities across the world.”