New mentorship scheme aims to help UK farmers and food producers boost exports

A new mentorship programme to help UK farmers and food producers boost their exports has been launched by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The programme, run in partnership with Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), and the National Farmers Union (NFU), will match experienced exporters with businesses who are looking to export for the first time.

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart, visited Quickes Farm in Newton St Cyres to launch the scheme on Monday, June 7.

From a cheese exporter in Somerset to a lamb and beef supplier in Scotland, the mentoring programme represents farmers and food producers from across the UK. The mentors will give practical help and advice to would-be exporters through roundtables, mentoring sessions and newsletters.

New trade deals will help reduce tariffs, support jobs and open doors to new markets.

UK cheese exports to Australia currently face tariffs of up to 20 per cent and slashing this tariff could be a major boost to companies like Somerset cheese exporter, Somerdale, who’ve been supplying British cheese to the Australian market for 15 years. A UK–Australia trade deal, which is expected to be agreed later this month, could have significant tariff–free benefits for our world leading food and drink industry.

There is global demand for British agriculture, food and drink businesses, with the UK exporting £21.7 billion worth of food and drink in 2020. By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s middle classes will be in Asia, creating new export opportunities for British farming.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, said: “We are determined to help UK farmers make the most of the new trade deals we’re striking across the world. This new mentor programme matches experienced exporters with our brilliant farmers and food producers to help them open even more doors to the fastest-growing consumer markets.

“UK farmers are at the heart of our trade policy, and we are working in lockstep with partners like the AHDB, the NFU to unleash our global exporting potential and fly the flag for British food and drink.

“We’re seizing new opportunities around the world as an independent trading nation in huge markets such as Australia while paving the way to prosperity across the UK.”

Minister for Exports Graham Stuart MP said: “The trade deals we are signing with countries across the world will unlock new access opportunities for UK farmers, and budding exporters will be able to take advantage of this through the agri-mentoring scheme.

“This government has long supported businesses at the start of their exporting journey through support from funding to mentoring. I look forward to continuing to encourage economic growth and jobs through trade in all four corners of the UK.”

Source: IYA