export action plan boost for cumbrian farmers

Rory has welcomed the launch of Defra’s Farming Export Action Plan and urged the Minister, Jim Paice, to press ahead with plans to have dedicated FCO agriculture secretaries posted to the UK’s most important export markets.

Cumbria is home to around a million ewes – more than in any other area in England – and its farmers stand to benefit most from an increase in exports. In the beef sector, export demand is in low value products currently a waste cost to processors – which, if sold abroad, could fetch £100 per animal.

Rory has been lobbying the government to put more resources into opening export markets for beef and sheep. In June, he called upon the Minister, Jim Paice, to ‘invest’ in exports and our embassies to ‘get the best deal possible for British farmers’ and he recently wrote to the Minister urging him to publish a plan for exports.

Rory said:

“This action plan is a great start to 2012 for our farmers, who are struggling despite the massive growth in demand for meat in emerging economies.

I want 2012 to be the year of exports. I will be working closely with the Minister, Jim Paice, UKTI, UKECP and the FCO to open the major markets outside the EU, like Russia, China, and the Middle East, which require bilaterally agreed export health certificates for sheep and cattle.

I want to see UK ambassadors around the world pushing British farm exports at the highest level and dedicated agriculture secretaries posted to our most important markets.

The UK has the potential to be one of the biggest global exporters of sheep, with Cumbria’s farmers benefiting the most. We already have one of the most efficient sheep industries in the world and demand in places like China is almost unlimited. Boosting our farm exports will improve the UK’s trade balance and greatly increase to the
profitability of many Cumbrian farms.”

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