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Fisheries and Meat Products: Sales

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 142752, tabled on 25 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help UK fish and meat producers to sell more of their produce in the UK.

Answered on

3 February 2021

As a Government, we have a manifesto commitment that we want people at home and abroad to be lining up to buy British. We welcome efforts from all parts of the food chain to promote and source British products, and work closely with industry and trade associations to engage with and support initiatives that highlight the qualities of British meat and seafood. We will always champion our farmers and producers, supporting them to grow more of our great British food, and to provide a reliable and sustainable food supply to the British public.

We want consumers to have a wide choice of products at prices which reflect the high quality of UK products and great work of our UK producers. Consumer behaviour continues to demonstrate the enduring demand for British produce. AHDB has recently launched a £1.5 million reputational campaign to encourage the role of meat as part of a healthy and balanced diet. AHDB undertakes regular marketing campaigns, including a social media campaign during July to promote lamb and working with Quality Meat Scotland and Meat Promotion Wales on a “Make it Steak” campaign during the spring lockdown.

We are working with the public sector to encourage them to buy seasonal and local produce, encourage variety in diets and support local businesses. This will include promoting the high standards of British produce. Now that we are an independent trading nation, we can align with World Trade Organisation rules which allow promotion of British products based on their own merits. Therefore, we are now working to build greater consumer awareness of the strengths of UK food and drink both internationally and at home. Officials are drilling down into the opportunities and work through the legal and operational constraints, and to make best use of our levers to ensure that more British food is consumed at home, in schools, hospitals and beyond.

Through the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme, we provided funding for projects that helped to increase the supply of local seafood to domestic markets and help to increase consumption of locally caught seafood in the UK. Additionally, we have worked in partnership with Seafish on the ‘Sea for Yourself’ consumer facing campaign to inspire the UK to eat more locally caught fish and shellfish from UK waters. The launch of their ‘Love Seafood’ brand in October 2020 will help consumers across the UK reconnect with the enjoyment of seafood. ‘Love Seafood’ represents an ambitious long-term initiative to reframe the nation’s view of seafood and encourage consumers in the UK to eat more seafood over the next 20 years.

Alongside domestic consumption, we are also keen to promote the strong global reputation of our food and increase its market access. Defra’s Food is GREAT campaign is raising the international profile and reputation of food and drink from across the UK. It builds global demand, drives awareness and increases positive perceptions of UK food and drink products amongst international trade audiences and consumers. The campaign promotes excellent food and drink products from across the four nations of the UK.

The Government remains committed to developing a food strategy that will support the development of a food system that is sustainable, resilient and affordable, that will support people to live healthy lives, and that will protect animal health and welfare.