Leaving the EU may make UK dairy ‘more profitable’

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Neil Parish speaking at Dairy UK's breakfast seminar
Neil Parish speaking at Dairy UK's breakfast seminar
Leaving the EU could make the UK dairy industry more competitive and profitable, said the trade association Dairy UK.

The organisation outlined the sector’s potential for global growth and how the outcome of Brexit negotiations could impact the sector.

Developing exports was a crucial part of developing and strengthening the dairy industry, it argued. The sector needed to fully exploit trade opportunities to fortify its position as a global dairy player.

Delivering success in global markets relied on five key points said the organisation.

Uninterrupted access to the EU market

Those were: maintaining uninterrupted access to the EU market, protecting existing trade agreements, developing new free trade agreements, avoiding border issues in Ireland and working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for optimal results on health certificates, inspection visits and promotion of the UK brand.

Speaking at Dairy UK’s breakfast seminar on Wednesday (November 16), chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Neil Parish said food and drink exports were a crucial part of the economy and the government should use all of its resources to promote and boost trade.

“As a life-long champion of the UK dairy industry, I am anxious to protect its interests. The food and farming sector must make itself heard,” ​said Parish.

“I welcome Dairy UK’s initiative to showcase the industry’s achievements in dairy exports and to highlight what we can and must do to support it in the coming years.”

Global demand for dairy

Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, said global demand for dairy was expected to grow by about 2% per year over the next 10 years.

That offered the UK the opportunity to unlock new markets and increase dairy exports across the globe.

“In spite of the uncertainty created by the Brexit negotiations, the UK dairy industry is ready to rise to the challenge and strengthen its position as a global dairy player,” ​said Bryans.

The UK dairy industry has increased exports outside the EU by 91% by volume over the past five years through to the end of 2014, according to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The volume of exports within the EU grew by 28% during the same period, with the total value of dairy exports worth about £1.3bn.

Dairy UK’s five point export plan

  1. Maintaining uninterrupted access to the EU market
  2. Protecting existing trade agreements
  3. Developing new free trade agreements
  4. Avoiding border issues on the island of Ireland
  5. Working with DEFRA for optimal results on health certificates, inspection visits and promotion of the UK brand

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