Report looks at how government and industry put food and drink at the heart of the UK’s new independent trade policy
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is publishing a Trade and Investment Strategy designed to champion the interests of the UK’s food and drink industry.
The report aims to deliver growth in communities across the country alongside strengthening choice and affordability for UK households at a time of rising inflation.
With the UK Government keen to make the most of the UK’s independent trade policy and ability to strike new trade deals around the world, the FDF’s strategy sets out a cross-government approach on which the food and drink sector can partner with government to hopefully deliver tangible gains for the UK economy.
The FDF’s aim is to maximise the benefits of food and drink trade by driving up exports, ensuring the UK is a global hub for innovation and R&D investment, and ensuring that imports support consumer choice, affordability and the UK’s food security.
The strategy highlights the importance of imports both for the UK’s food supply and as a key component to expand long-term growth in sustainable value-added exports, ensuring innovation and the creation of new jobs.
Any new preferential trade agreements must also insist on the need for high standards of production, environmental sustainability and animal welfare while recognising the unique features of the UK food and drink supply mix.
The Food and Drink Federation’s CEO Karen Betts said: “Our report looks at how government and industry put food and drink at the heart of the UK’s new, independent trade policy, and ensures this supports companies in our sector to grow and thrive. Trade is also a means of curbing rising costs, which is particularly important now at a time of soaring inflation.
“This strategy sets out the strong partnership we want to continue to foster with the UK Government and Devolved Administrations, so our industry can play its full role in growing UK exports and in using trade to deliver economic growth and prosperity across the UK, to communities up and down the country.”
Defra secretary George Eustice added: “Our food industry is bigger than the automotive and aerospace industries combined – and more evenly dispersed across our country.
“There are opportunities for our food and drink businesses in markets around the world, and we want everyone to be lining up to buy British. I look forward to working with the sector to ensure that businesses across the UK can take advantage of the opportunities ahead.”
The FDF’s UK Trade and Investment Strategy has been produced in partnership with Global Counsel.