UK’s food and drink exports hit record £22billion after Brexit

February 12, 2018, 6:00 pm
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Source: The Sun

BRITISH food and drink exports hit a record £22billion last year as Brexit sparked a boom in global demand.

Overseas demand hit an all-time high as the world clamoured to try our most popular products.

Whisky, salmon, meat and dairy products flew off the shelves as orders from China, America and Hong Kong triggered a surge in sales.

Treasury figures reveal that 13.2 tons of food was sold abroad in 2017 – bringing in an extra £2billion since we voted to leave the EU.

The huge foreign sales spike saw 484 million bottles of whisky shipped overseas last year – equivalent to 1.3 million bottles a day.

The overall value of Scotch exports rose nine per cent to £4.36billion, the strongest growth in six years.

Ministers believe the growing appetite for UK grub and booze will rocket even further next year when we are free to trade more cheaply after Brexit.

British producers are now selling their products to 217 markets, with dairy sales up 61 per cent, salmon by 23 per cent and pork 14 per cent.

A growing thirst for British tipples has seen bottles of British beer appearing on shelves in Japan and New Zealand, while overseas sales of gin have topped £500 million.

In the same year Britain sent £85 million worth of cheese to France, £21 million of chocolate to Belgium and £2 million of tea to China.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove hailed the figures as a taste of things to come.

He told The Sun on Sunday: “Farmers, fishermen 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 a Green Brexit can deliver for the whole country.”

Mr Gove says the worldwide hunger for UK nosh presents huge opportunities for producers as we prepare to leave the EU.

The USA is the largest market outside of Europe, worth £2.3billion last year, a rise of three per cent on 2016.

China is now the eighth largest export market for British produce – especially salmon, whisky and pork – with over £560 million worth of goods bought by its consumers last year.

Food and Drink Federation boss Ian Wright said: “We must build upon this platform in order to take advantage of new opportunities and the growing global appetite for great British and Northern Irish manufacturing as we leave the EU.”

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