UK food and farming minister Lord Bach has announced a £2m (US$3.5m) boost to support the quality regional food and drink sector.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is providing a further £1m per year for two years from 2006/7 to Food from Britain, the non-departmental body responsible for promoting regional food and drink in England and overseas. This is on top of the £3m Defra has already provided over the last
three years to support the sector through the Regional Food Strategy.

This additional funding will allow Food from Britain to continue to support the regional food and drink sector through a range of activities, focussing on trade developments, consumer awareness and improving business competitiveness.

The decision follows an independent economic review of the government's Regional Food Strategy published by consultants ADAS which shows that government support for the sector has been effective and that those firms that have benefited from the strategy have performed better than non-beneficiaries.