UK eyeing Chinese export market

UK eyeing Chinese export market

The UK government has insisted the country's dairy industry should look to meet growing demand in China.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Owen Paterson is visiting China this week, in what the Government described as "the biggest ever food trade delegation" to the country. Paterson will meet dairy companies, trade associations, industry experts and retailers in Shangahi in a bid to kick-start food trade between the UK and China.

"From chocolate to cheddar, China's population is getting a taste for dairy, and Britain's world-class food industry can supply that demand," Paterson said.

According to the assessment of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK dairy manufacturers should take the most of a "window of opportunity" that is presented by the fact that domestic dairy production is struggling to meet growing demand.

Although the UK imports GBP1.2bn more dairy produce than it exports, DEFRA suggested the industry should ramp up production to take advantage of opportunities "at home and abroad" because other European countries are tied to quotas until 2015.

"I'll be helping British businesses grab the opportunity with both hands, helping our country compete and thrive in the global race," Paterson said.

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Exporting dairy to China can start filling £1 billion hole in UK economy
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is spearheading the biggest ever food trade delegation to China to start filling a £1 billion hole in the British economy.
China is consuming significantly more Western-style milk, cheese, and yogurt, and Britain can help supply that demand.
The UK currently imports £1.2 billion more dairy produce than it exports, meaning there is huge potential for growth at home and abroad.
Mr Paterson will this week meet dairy companies, trade associations, industry experts and retailers in Shanghai to begin developing trade with the world's biggest grocery market.
He will also be strongly promoting tea, desserts, beer, meat, and confectionery produced by British companies. A record number of small- and medium-sized British businesses will be in Shanghai to sell their produce to 30,000 importers at the giant Food and Hotel China exhibition.
Mr Paterson said:
"From chocolate to cheddar, China's population is getting a taste for dairy, and Britain's world-class food industry can supply that demand.
"I'll be helping British businesses grab the opportunity with both hands, helping our country compete and thrive in the global race."
China's dairy consumption is increasing because of changing lifestyles and diet, and there is a window of opportunity while domestic production cannot meet this demand. The UK has room to significantly expand production while other EU countries are restricted by milk quotas until 2015.
As the first step towards developing more trade with China, Defra will share the insight into the Chinese market with other businesses in a dairy export summit in the New Year.

Original source: DEFRA