The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore has said Scotland will benefit from the UK Government’s latest food and drink export initiative launched today (Friday 27 January).
The Minister said Defra’s Food and Drink Export Action Plan would set out how government and industry would work together to open up new key markets, including a plan to encourage and support manufacturers exporting overseas and a campaign to champion UK food abroad.
Defra worked with UKTI, industry trade associations and exporting companies to produce the plans in order to boost food and drink exports to high growth markets like India and China.
The Scotch Whisky Association has welcomed the initiative, saying it would create a “joined-up approach to market access” and increase the focus on removing trade barriers.
Michael Moore, who recently led the largest ever Scottish trade mission to Brazil, said:
“Scotland’s food and drink is known across the world for its quality and this UK Government initiative will help support our companies as they further develop their business with the rest of the world. We have been working hard to secure further footholds in emerging markets, including securing geographical indication protection for Scotch whisky. This action plan will help exporters make the most of the huge global opportunities available to Scottish companies and will, in turn, help create and secure jobs and boost our economy.”
The project steering group which developed the action plan along with the export forum included Defra, UKTI, Food and Drink Federation, Food and Drink Exporters Association, Scotch Whisky Association, and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.
The Exports Action Plan includes plans to:
- Hold regional road shows and business-to-business networking events to share best practice and encourage companies to export;
- Make it far easier for companies to access the range of advice and support already available;
- Make food export paperwork simpler and easier to access;
- Better advertise the financial safeguards available to protect smaller companies from not being paid, which is a key concern;
- Work across government and industry to get other countries to remove bans on British meat, such as beef and lamb to China.
- Support inexperienced agri-food companies to showcase products at international tradeshows and trade missions;
- Ministers and a new international business ambassador to provide high-level support and promote the best of British produce abroad;
- Showcase British food and drink at the London Olympics 2012 to attract international buyers.
The Exports Action Plan is available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/food/food-industry/exports/