Defra and the Department of International Trade (DIT) have said they will offer immediate support for food and farming businesses to help them grow export trade as part of recovery efforts for the sector.
The announcement builds on previously announcements on trade negotiations with Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand. The programme of physical and virtual events includes an overseas virtual buyer trial, a ‘Smart Distance Selling Process’, and a package of ‘Ready to Trade’ Exporting Masterclass webinars. The Government is also launching a new ‘SME E-commerce Accelerator Pilot’ to increase the level of international e-commerce backing for SMEs in the food and drink industry.
The plan will also see the introduction of Defra’s first agri-food counsellor serving the Gulf, who will support the UK’s food and drink industry and represent the interests of UK businesses already exporting, or planning to export, to the region.
Minister for Export, Graham Stuart MP, DIT said, “More trade is absolutely critical to helping the UK’s agriculture, food and drink industry recover from the impact of coronavirus. The package of measures we have announced today will support ‘bounce back’ in exports, and help our world-class producers and manufacturers increase trade with the rest of the world.”
Ian Wright CBE, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, added, “Support on this scale from UK Government is extremely welcome at this uncertain time. The package of measures is testament to the close and long-running work between FDF, DIT and Defra to boost our exports performance. Our success in restarting and expanding exports will be absolutely vital in aiding the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery.”
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