Plea for Government support for dairy exports

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

The UK exported 1.2bn tonnes of dairy produce, worth £1.6bn, to the EU alone in 2018
The UK exported 1.2bn tonnes of dairy produce, worth £1.6bn, to the EU alone in 2018
The Government must support dairy exports for the sake of the industry’s future success, according to a report issued by the Dairy All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).

The paper, Supporting the future of UK dairy exports​, was issued on 6 June. It outlines several recommendations to encourage the sector to thrive, particularly in the wake of the UK’s anticipated exit from the EU on 31 October.

They include requesting Government support in key areas, including creating the creation of an export promotion scheme for UK dairy products, akin to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ ‘Food is GREAT’ campaign.

Other proposals are: to promote the Red Tractor standard and branding on exports and to ensure ports and borders have sufficient resources and technology to check EU imports of animal origin.

The report details five key areas in which the sector faces challenges in the wake of Brexit: tariffs on trade, maintaining current standards, animal health certification, increasing our exporting potential and building relationships with new markets.

Free and frictionless trade

The document repeats wider food industry demands for free and frictionless trade, backed by appropriate free trade agreements, with EU and non-EU countries, including between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, post-Brexit. And it calls for the UK to be listed as an official importer to the 27 EU countries.

A demand that domestic dairy products are not undercut by lower quality products from other markets is also included as one of the recommendations. 

“The report outlines the challenges the UK dairy industry faces exporting its products post-Brexit, but it is also clear that with the right support in place, our dairy exporters will be well placed to continue to export their much-loved to international consumers,”​ said Scott Mann, chairman of the Dairy APPG.

Guidance

“The Dairy APPG hopes that these recommendations will help provide central Government and relevant departments with guidance on supporting dairy exports and the sector long-term.”

The enquiry that led up to the production of the report took evidence over the course of a year from industry, farmers and executive bodies. The full report can be found here​.

The UK exported 1.2bn tonnes of dairy produce, worth £1.6bn, to the EU alone in 2018. The market accounted for 92% of all UK dairy exports by volume.

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