Launched by minister for exports Lord Offord during a visit to Lye Cross Farm in Bristol on 9 November 2023, the initiative has been designed to help UK agri-businesses take advantage of export opportunities and engage in overseas markets.
The Dairy Export Programme was formed following a consultation between the Department for Business and Trade, the Dairy Export Taskforce and the UK dairy industry. The Dairy Export Taskforce is an industry-led initiative that includes representatives from the NFU, Dairy UK, AHDB and dairy businesses.
In May, the Government committed £1m to support the UK dairy sector, with the programme the direct result of this funding and a wider package of support. The Dairy Export Programme will offer various support systems for businesses, including education sessions and trade promotion activity such as inward buyer trade missions and a showcase event.
The UK dairy industry is largely made up of SMEs and exports more than £2bn worth of goods a year to over 135 countries.
Race to £1 trillion in exports by 2030
Lord Offord said that growing the agri, food and drink sector is key to boosting the UK economy and that the new scheme would allow businesses to “grasp exciting new opportunities around the world”.
“The work we are doing to strike up new trade deals will only see that figure rise further and move us forward in the race to £1 trillion of exports by 2030,” he added.
The Provision Trade Federation (PTF) provided feedback on direction and priorities to the Dairy Export Taskforce, and the body’s director general Rod Addy credited the role of dairy processor’s in the initiative’s development.
“The PTF is encouraged that Government has listened to members and the wider sector and has developed this package of proposals,” said Addy.
“UK dairy exporters such as Lye Cross Farm generate millions in revenue and have even greater future potential. The challenge now is to deliver on the detail of these plans and for Government to continue to help in overcoming barriers to overseas trade.”