UK appoints first food councillor for China

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade

The new role should improve relations between the UK and China
The new role should improve relations between the UK and China
Karen Morgan has been appointed as the UK’s first agriculture and food counsellor in China in a bid to increase growing food and drink exports to the country.

Morgan, who currently leads the farming team at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), will take up the role in the spring.

She will be based in the British embassy in Beijing and will represent the interests of UK businesses already exporting food and drink to China and firms looking to open new trade links.

The new role will also involve identifying opportunities for new markets and further developing the UK’s relationship with key Chinese authorities.

It is funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and will help British firms tap into China’s growing interest in speciality foods – a market expected to be worth a potential £39bn this year, the government claimed.

‘Vast opportunities’

DEFRA secretary of state Elizabeth Truss said the appointment would help UK firms take advantage of the “vast opportunities”​ in China.

“The UK has a worldwide reputation for producing top class, quality food and drink and we are increasingly seeing British firms taking advantage of the growing demand in China for our produce, from whisky and pork to Yorkshire tea.”

A whopping £215M worth of produce was exported from the UK to China in 2013, up from £136M in 2012, she added.

AHDB chairman Peter Kendall said the new post represented a long term strategic levy investment by AHDB, together with its continued close cooperation with the China Business Council.

Morgan has previously worked with the AHDB and other industry organisations in leading the Green Food Project and Future of Farming Review, and more recently in shaping the future delivery of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Related topics: People & Skills

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