Government minister Mike Freer MP has officially launched a new web portal to help the UK Agri-Tech industry export to new markets.
The Minister for Exports unveiled the Agri-Tech-UK Directory at an APPG Science & Technology in Agriculture meeting on Monday (10th January).
The Directory is a joint venture of three associations – UK Technology for Agriculture and Genetics (UK TAG), the Commercial Horticultural Association (CHA) and the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) – working alongside the Department for International Trade.
Its aim is to provide an invaluable, high-functionality resource and point of contact for overseas producers and companies in the agricultural industry, as well as enabling overseas embassies and government trade departments to locate UK companies and their specialist services.
Mike Freer said:
“A year after becoming an independent trading nation, Britain is using its unique opportunity to strengthen its position as a global hub of agricultural science and innovation.
We’re working hard to develop and export technological solutions to improve food production around the world, whilst also attracting inward investment to support jobs and economic activity here at home.
This is why we, alongside the three leading UK Agri-Tech Trade Associations, and the four Agri-Tech Innovation Centres, have joined forces to launch the brand new Agri-Tech portal. This supports companies who want to expand into new markets around the world and take advantage of our new Free Trade Agreements by providing a point of contact for overseas producers and companies in the agricultural industry.
The new portal will help boost international Agri-Tech trade.”
The three associations – UK TAG, CHA and AEA – are working together to promote the skills, innovation and technology capabilities of their members. In addition, they have developed the portal in partnership with the four Agri-Tech Innovation Centres (Agrimetrics, Agri-Epi, Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) and Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) and Local Enterprise Partners in the Midlands Engine, Northern Powerhouse and South West.
By signing up to the platform, users will gain exclusive access to several ‘Meet the Buyer’ events each year, as well as the ability to communicate directly with international buyers through an internal messaging system. The functionality of the directory allows users to search by sector, product and region. It also provides access to the UK Capability Brochures on agricultural engineering, companion pets, horticulture and livestock genetics published with our Trade Challenge Partners (CHA, UK Tag, AEA).
In the future, it will host the slide decks for the Agri-Tech High Potential Opportunities in animal health (Surrey/Hampshire), aquaculture (Dorset), controlled environment agriculture (Leeds/Yorkshire), plant science for nutrition (Norfolk/Suffolk) and precision agriculture (Telford) to also help attract more investment by signposting other Agri-Tech initiatives of interest to overseas investors.
Chris Jackson, Export Manager for UK TAG, said:
“Post-Brexit, Britain has a unique opportunity to strengthen its position as a global hub of agricultural science and innovation, developing and exporting technological solutions to improve food production around the world, and attracting inward investment to support jobs and economic activity at home.
“It is vital that we tell the world what we’re good at, and this new website will help us to get the message out there that the UK produces some of the best horticultural and agricultural technology and help companies to take advantage of future trade deals.”
The CHA’s Trade Association Manager, Pat Flynn, confirmed:
“Britain is a horticultural and agriculture world leader and we need to celebrate this more and support it more. We are confident that the AgriTech portal as launched officially today will go a long way to addressing the information gap which currently exists for overseas growers who wish to access our expertise and this in turn helps our UK companies to realise their full export potential.”
Ruth Bailey, Director General of AEA, added:
“I think it is a little known fact that the agricultural engineers sector exports some 1.12 billion machinery exports worldwide. This is far more than is imported into the UK and this shows there is a clear value for this sector and one that needs to be supported.”
The new portal can be viewed at www.agritech-uk.org