UK’s NFU meets with exports minister about dairy

Minister for Exports, Mike Freer MP visits Stilton makers, Long Clawson Dairy in Leicestershire, which after a multi-million pound expansion in 2018 to drive global sales, now exports its award-winning cheeses to Europe, the US and Australia. Pictured with NFU President Minette Batters. Credit: Glen Minikin / NFU 27/01/2022

National Farmers Union president, Minette Batters, recently met with Mike Freer, the UK minister for exports, to discuss exporting more dairy products globally, and to explain more about the NFU Dairy Export Strategy designed to help unlock new opportunities within international markets.

The visit took place at specialist Stilton makers, Long Clawson Dairy in Leicestershire, where they met managing director Bill Mathieson on a tour of the factory, which, after a multi-million-pound expansion in 2018 to drive global sales, now exports its award-winning cheeses to Europe, the US and Australia.

Batters said: “The meeting with the Minister gave us the opportunity to showcase the fantastic work that farmers and producers are already doing to export high quality dairy products around the globe and demonstrate how they can work with the Department for International Trade to grow their businesses to meet growing demand for British dairy.”

She continued: “Long Clawson Dairy is a prime example of how the British dairy industry is ambitious, innovative and forward-thinking; producing a range of top-quality nutritious and sustainable British dairy products to world-leading standards like its award-winning Stilton that’s sold across Europe, the US and Australia.”

The industry currently exports over £1.6bn worth of dairy products to more than 135 countries, with plans to double that value within the next decade.

“With government investment to boost on-going market development work and to increase the number of agriculture counsellors around the world, we can massively boost our dairy exports and help set the global standard when it comes to sustainable climate-friendly food,” Batters concluded.

Freer added: ” The work that farmers and producers do across the UK and in the East Midlands is hugely important for the economy and a sector we should be proud to shout about overseas.

“Exports support over six million jobs across the UK, with almost 400,000 of these based in the East Midlands, and I look forward to continuing to help the region’s farming sector continue to thrive.

“Our newly-created Export Strategy and Export Support Service will help businesses across the region to kickstart and expand their exporting ambitions at a time when global interest in British produce is increasing.”

Bill Mathieson, managing director at Long Clawson Dairy, said: “Our model as a farming cooperative and master cheese makers gives us a brilliant opportunity to fly the flag for Britain in exporting our delicious Stilton and other artisan cheeses around the world.

“We are delighted we could share our plans with the Minister for Exports highlighting challenges and opportunities we can work on together to accelerate our growth in exports.”

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