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Industry kick-starts work on Great British Food and Farming Plan

Eighty leading representatives from food and farming join Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss today to discuss the future of the industry.

Eighty leading representatives from the UK food and farming industry will help develop a long-term plan for the future of food and farming at a meeting with Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss today.

The industry-led 25-year plan will up the country’s ambitions for food and farming, setting out how we can grow more, buy more and sell more British food. Today’s event kick-starts the plan’s development, discussing ways to promote a British brand, grow exports, improve skills, attract high-flyers and harness data and technology so the industry can innovate, grow and create jobs.

Speaking ahead of the event, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

We are hugely ambitious for the future of food and farming and its potential to drive growth—that’s why we are bringing together industry to set out a vision for the future with a long-term plan to grow more, buy more and sell more British food. This event is the first step to make our ambition a reality.

Our food and farming industry is already an economic powerhouse, worth over £100 billion a year and supporting one in eight jobs. By championing the latest technology, building skills and creating jobs and apprenticeships we will create a stronger brand for British food and drink that will see our quality produce enjoyed at home and exported around the globe.

The event, the first of several convened by Defra and led by industry, brings together a range of organisations in food and farming—including major trade associations, farming businesses, retailers, food manufacturers and the research community—to share ideas on how to encourage enterprise and boost productivity.

The outcomes of today’s event will form a key part of a 25-year food and farming plan to increase competitiveness across the entire food chain, helping the UK to become one of the most innovative food nations in the world.

Defra will work with industry around seven key themes to help shape the direction, actions and ideas that will create a strong future for British food and farming:

  • Strengthening the British brand to ensure our quality produce is celebrated both at home and abroad.
  • Increasing exports to ensure British products are enjoyed by even more countries across the world.
  • Breaking down barriers to trade that will enable budding food entrepreneurs to unleash their full potential and access new markets.
  • Increasing procurement of British produce including in schools and hospitals.
  • Attracting investment into the industry.
  • Boosting skills and apprenticeships to ensure the industry has the confidence and capacity to meet the growing demand for British produce.
  • Increasing productivity through innovation, research and development and sharing data.

The UK’s food and farming industry contributes more than £100 billion a year to our growing economy and employs one in eight people. Over 16,000 new food and drink products are introduced every year—second in the world only to the United States of America. Food and drink remains the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector, bigger than cars and aerospace combined.

If you would like more information on Defra’s food and farming strategy or would like to participate in future industry events, please email foodpolicyunit@defra.gsi.gov.uk.