Bounce Back plan for the UK agriculture, food and drink industry

The UK agriculture, food and drink industry has been significantly impacted by coronavirus and although it has done well to adapt, exports have been hit. In order to support this important industry get back to normal and start grow market share once again, the Government has announced a ‘Bounce Back’ plan of trade measures to help support businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus.

The range of measures announced on 22 June 2020 by the Government include:

  1. Launch of a GREAT DIT Food & Drink Exporting Masterclass, an extensive and bespoke programme of webinars to be produced in conjunction with trade associations, UK regions, including Devolved Administrations, and DIT’s international network, all supported by DIT’s Export Specialists.
  2. Launch of Food & Drink SME E-commerce Accelerator Pilot to leverage DIT’s E-exporting Programme to increase the level of international e-commerce support for food and drink SMEs, including agri-tech. This will include the offer of one-to-one e-commerce export clinics with the programme’s e-commerce specialists and regional advisers, a new series of industry webinars and podcasts focussed on highlighting the opportunities available to export through e-marketplaces internationally, as well as virtual workshops on internationalising their websites for those companies selling direct to consumers in various markets around the world. For more details of the programme – download the information pack here
  3. Promote 50 Food and Drink Export Champions to stimulate aspiring exporters, while utilising International Trade Advisor specialist networks focused on agri-food.
  4. Announce the first Defra Agri-food Counsellor serving the UAE and wider Gulf Region, with the role focussing on supporting our food and drink sector and representing the interests of UK businesses already exporting to the area, as well as those looking to export for the first time. The new Defra-funded Regional Agri-Food Counsellor will be based in Dubai and will work alongside DIT’s existing sector leads in the UAE, providing specialist knowledge and engagement in Government to Government discussions on behalf of UK interests and sectors. She will also support food and drink promotion activity at the UK pavilion at World Expo in 2021, identifying opportunities for new markets and further developing existing export relationships.
  5. Launch of a programme of physical and virtual events, using innovative, interactive software to connect buyers, promote the UK and reach international markets. This will include: an overseas virtual buyer trial working directly with chosen US buyers through a virtual delivery programme; and developing a UK ‘Smart Distance Selling Process’, which includes the dispatch of food and drink samples to buyers.
  6. Leveraging Defra’s Food is GREAT campaign, which will extend into the UAE and the EU later this year, to provide impactful and targeted activity in priority export markets, such as USA, China and Japan. This also will be complemented by new agri-food creative imagery within DIT’s GREAT Ready to Trade campaign when this resumes in the summer, under the Food is GREAT and Invest in GREAT pillars.
  7. Two Virtual Investor Roundtables chaired by Lord Grimstone, Minister for Investment, with agri-food and drink, and agri-tech companies to inform the development of the UK’s investment strategy, the UK Agri-Tech International Strategy and the launch of Phase 2 of the High Potential Opportunity Programme.
  8. Uplift of UK Export Finance’s “Exporters’ Edge” campaign to further outreach and engagement to identify and respond to the needs of the industry and raise awareness of how UKEF and Trade Finance can help the businesses win and fulfil export contracts. UKEF is also accelerating the development of its products to allow a wider range of UK exporters to access its support. Its enhanced offer will provide easier access to working capital for UK exporters by offering financing that is not tied to specific export contracts but instead supports general business activities.

Full details of the Bounce Back Plan for the Agriculture, Food and Drink industry can be found here

Jeremy Oliver, Partner at Garbutt + Elliott says “This is a welcome development from the government. The launch of this range of measures will provide some much needed support for Yorkshire Food and Drink Businesses who have been particularly affected by the lock down of the hospitality sector and restrictions on travel. With the 31 December deadline for the end of the transition period  from exiting the European Common Market fast approaching it’s a timely reminder to businesses of the opportunities in international trade”

If you have any queries around any of the points mentioned above, please contact support@garbutt-elliott.co.uk