Paterson underlines support for UK food industry
The Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Owen Paterson has shared his 2013 plans with Meatinfo.co.uk.
In an interview, Paterson explained it was his priority to help British businesses sell more quality produce abroad, while doing as much as possible to create a “robust, resilient food industry” in the UK. Paterson said: “I think a big part of what government needs to do is get out of people’s hair and let them get on with doing the things they are good at. That’s why we’re getting rid of so many regulations.”
“I know that confusing and lengthy paperwork can put people off selling in some markets and I’m working out how we can simplify it. I am working to help SMEs sell their produce abroad, support local communities and bolster the national economy. I will do all I can to break down barriers to business. Government cannot do this alone. I need you to tell me what more we can do, what other regulations we can get rid of, what processes we can improve.”
“Exports are key to the future of our food industry and it is one of my top priorities to see British meat sold the world over,” he added. “The reason British food is becoming increasingly popular abroad is our world-class ingredients, the traceability of our products and our high quality standards. We need to maintain these rigorously.
“My recent trip to China showed me how much things have already changed there. People are clamouring for more western foods, including high-end imported goods such as dairy products, which are not part of the traditional Chinese diet. I attended the launch of a UK beef-on-the-bone reception in Hong Kong, with many top restaurateurs and suppliers. It’s clear there’s a great demand for the quality produce Britain produces.
“I will continue working with foreign governments to increase the number of countries we export to. This really has the possibility to open up huge markets for our food producers. Russia has just lifted its ban on the import of British beef and lamb, a market worth a potential £80m over the next three years. We are currently working on many more opportunities like this that will bring real benefits to industry.
“Working together we can galvanise growth at home, by selling our quality produce abroad.”
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