Continuing growth in global meat and dairy consumption presents an opportunity that UK food businesses must build on, according to the head of AHDB.
UK red meat exports hit record levels in 2022 and were worth £1.7 billion, with the dairy sector achieving a similar level. Global meat consumption expected to grow by 1.8% and fresh dairy product consumption by 2.53% in 2024, compared with this year.
Speaking at the AHDB Export Conference at Butchers’ Hall, in London, today, AHDB chair Nicholas Saphir said: “Our exporters and colleagues in Government should be congratulated on the fabulous job done in driving export growth for UK agri-food which is reflected in the figures from 2022 that speak for themselves.
“It is, however, imperative to maintain the momentum and build on this success. With the anticipated growth in global meat and dairy consumption, now is a pivotal moment for more UK exporters to seize on the export opportunities presented.”
Mr Saphir welcomed the Government’s recent commitment to invest £2 million to boost its programme of global trade shows and missions, as well as providing £1.6 million for the GREAT food and drink campaign and a new £1 million bespoke export support fund for the dairy sector to help support the UK’s export ambitions.
He added: “The Government’s pledge at its recent Farm to Fork summit was very encouraging and will complement AHDB’s £8m annual investment in exports to facilitate trade and grow our reputation as a producer of quality, safe and wholesome food.”
AHDB unveiled its Beyond Borders strategy at the event, aimed at delivering enhanced services to help more exporters maximise the global potential for high-quality domestic produce.
It sets out plans to encourage more businesses to develop their export potential with the help of enhanced AHDB services including bespoke training and advice and industry-leading marketing support. This will include providing tools, information and advice and practical assistance on exporting, connecting UK businesses to overseas buyers and growing the reputation of our levy payer products.
Mr Saphir said: “A sustained collaborative effort between industry and Government, underpinned with AHDB’s support including market and consumer insight, is key to helping our exporters build on the successes already achieved.
“Our strategic approach set out in Beyond Borders is very much aimed at helping our levy payers succeed in this and to encourage more businesses to look at exporting. Not only will it help levy payers improve overall returns, but it will also support the UK Government’s wider ambition to become a ‘Great Trading Nation’.
“As strategists and boots on the ground, AHDB is the indispensable bridge, connecting the Government’s trade diplomacy and promotion work with successful and aspirational exporters with a common goal to deliver commercial deals on the global stage.
“As I’ve already alluded to, our exporters and Government are to be congratulated on the successes achieved to date. We look forward to working collaboratively with them, delivering enhanced support services to build on this and help our exporters realise their future ambitions.”