The ‘bounce back’ plan of trade measures for the agriculture, food and drink industry announced by colleagues in Government is extremely welcome to help support businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus.
Agriculture and food production plays an vital part in our local economy and I will always champion this important industry. Our high quality produce is in demand around the world, and from conversations with the industry locally, I know they want to benefit from future trade agreements.
The new strategic interventions jointly announced by the Department for International Trade and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will offer immediate support to help businesses in the industry grow their trade activity overseas.
The agriculture, food and drink industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing industry and plays a vital role in the UK’s food supply chain. In 2018 it contributed £121 billion to the UK economy and supported around 4 million jobs.
In 2019 the UK exported £2.4bn of food and drink to the US, £312m to Japan, £453m to Australia and £58m to New Zealand. The plan will provide unparalleled help for small and medium sized businesses and allow them to capitalise on trade agreements being negotiated by DIT with Japan, US, Australia and New Zealand.
I know the sector has seen a significant impact from the outbreak of coronavirus but it is one of the most resourceful and innovative of all industries. With the right support, such as the measures that have been announced, I am confident that our agriculture and food production businesses can bounce back.
More information about the measures that have been announced can be found here.