New figures show total UK soft fruit exports soared to a record-breaking £22.1 million last year, up from £13 million in 2017.
Exports from the UK to international markets rose by 69%, with blackberries, strawberries and raspberries being some of our most popular soft fruits. Together they are worth more than £18 million in overseas sales, with the Netherlands, Spain and the Republic of Ireland being our biggest markets.
Over the past five years, the demand for UK soft fruit has risen consistently, with the total value of exports rising by £16.8 million – an increase of more than 300% since 2013.
Speaking at the Fruit Focus Show in Kent, Farming Minister Robert Goodwill said:
“I am delighted to be at the Fruit Focus Show to see the very best of the British soft fruit industry and the innovative ways that fruit is being grown on our farms.
“For soft fruits, the proof is in the pudding with exports having risen dramatically in the last year. This clearly shows the global demand for delicious, British-grown produce.”
During his visit, Minister Goodwill outlined how the UK horticulture sector can continue to grow and meet the demands of British consumers.
In 2018, British soft fruit producers sold their goods into 34 international markets – a 55% increase on the previous year – with the Netherlands (£6 million), Spain (£5.8 million) and the Republic of Ireland (£3.4 million) being the biggest consumers. This global appetite for British food reveals the untapped opportunities for farmers and food producers as the UK leaves the EU.
The government’s Food is GREAT campaign works with industry leaders to boost the profile of UK food and drink at home and abroad, enabling businesses to seize new exporting opportunities across the globe.