Gov inquiry to see how UK food is seen overseas

Gov inquiry to see how UK food is seen overseas
Credit: Matthew Bechelli

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into Brand Britain: Promoting and Marketing British food and drink to ascertain in success in promoting British goods overseas.

The EU is the UK’s single largest trading partner in agri-food products, accounting for 60% of exports. Post-Brexit, the Government will need to maintain and build trade relationships with the EU.

The Government has also signalled it is looking to strengthen ties with countries outside the EU like China, India, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Led by Defra, Food is GREAT is a global campaign to promote and market British food and drink around the world. The Great British Food Unit was established in 2016 as part of the five-year Great British food campaign.

At home, there is a growing awareness and appetite for British products among consumers. However, there is still some way to go. A recent consultation found that while 77% of people surveyed think it’s important to support British farmers, 60% say they try to buy British, but less than half would pay more for British food or habitually check labels to see where their food is coming from.

“Trade is vital to the UK’s economy,” said Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

“Our food and farming industry generates over £110 billion a year, and employs one in eight people in the UK.

“It is essential that the Government takes steps to build Britain’s global brand for food and drink, and works with industry to promote our food and drink excellence around the world.

“Our inquiry will assess the merits of the Food is GREAT campaign, and its success in promoting British products at home and abroad.”

The inquiry will focus predominantly on the current success of the Food is GREAT campaign, how the UK Government is working with industry partners to help build global recognition of UK excellence in food and drink, and identifying and opening new markets to UK products.