Global pork sales increased by 14% as UK food and drink exports reached £22 billion in 2017, a new record.
UK food and drink products are being sold in 217 markets, with pork, boosted by by strong sales to China, not the only product to make significant new inroads last year. Exports of milk & cream increased by 61%, while salmon was up by 23%.
The new figures released by Defra show some of the biggest UK exports include:
- Whisky (£4.5 billion)
- Salmon (£720 million)
- Chocolate (£680 million)
- Cheese (£623 million)
- Beer (£603 million)
- Shellfish (£600 million)
Top 5 countries we export to are:
- Irish Republic (£3.7 billion)
- France (£2.3 billion)
- USA (£2.3 billion)
- Netherlands (£1.5 billion)
- Germany (£1.4 billion)
The figures highlight how the UK is penetrating new and difficult markets. During 2017, the UK exported sent £85 million worth of cheese to France, £21 million of chocolate to Belgium and even £2 million of tea to China. Bottles of UK beer have appeared on shelves in Japan and New Zealand, international sales of UK gin brands topped £500 million
Defra Secretary Michael Gove said: “Farmers, fisherman and our food producers are all helping to deliver a Brexit bonus – with more exports of British food and drink than ever.
“Contrary to the constant negativity of the doom-mongers, the British economy is going from strength to strength showing that a Green Brexit can deliver for the whole country.
He said this growing hunger for UK produce reveals the ‘huge opportunities’ for producers and manufacturers as the UK prepares to leave the EU, highlighting the £2.3bn US market, up 3% from the previous year. China, now a critically important destination for UK pork, is now the 8th largest export market for UK food and drink, worth over £560 million in 2017, with UK salmon and whisky also popular.
As a British Pork producer who also exports to other markets, all of us at Cheale Meats are pleased to see such strong data and look forward to more exciting developments in our industry this year.
Read more on this from Pig World here