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Livestock Industry

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL5136, tabled on 5 January 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the opportunities for livestock producers in the UK in 2022.

Answered on

24 January 2022

Leaving the EU has provided a huge opportunity for UK agriculture to boost domestic productivity and improve its competitiveness - developing the next generation of food and farming technology, adopting the latest techniques and investing in skills and equipment. As a government we will always champion our farmers and producers, supporting them to grow more of our great British food.

In November we opened the new Farming Investment Fund which will provide grants to farmers, foresters, and growers in England (including contractors to these sectors) so that they can invest in the equipment, technology and infrastructure that will help their businesses to prosper, while improving their productivity and enhancing the environment.

We will also work with the sector to boost exports, building on the UK's growing reputation for high-quality food and drink, with high standards of animal welfare, traceability and sustainability. The Government will add eight new agri-food and drink attachés in priority markets. As well as posts in China, USA, India, Canada and Mexico, the agri-food attachés will be covering growth markets in the Gulf, Africa, South America and the Asia-Pacific region. Existing attachés in China and the UAE have been pivotal in securing access for a greater range of products, driving export growth and building mutually supportive relationships with trading partners.

During the PM's visit to the US last year agreement was made regarding the small ruminant rule, which opens a valuable path for UK exports of lamb to the US. This achievement follows on from last year’s commencement of UK beef exports to the US for the first time in over 20 years. The UK beef sector can now begin to reap the economic benefits of trade with the US – with industry estimating beef exports will be worth £66 million over the next five years. The Mexican market is now also open for British pork for the first time, which means a potential boost of £50m over the first five years of trade. British exporters can now tap into this brand-new market, which boasts high demand for high quality pork meat. Last year, over £597 million of British food and drink exports headed to Gulf Co-operation Council countries. Farmers and food producers could now benefit hugely from better market access to a region that imports virtually all its food and has high demand for top-quality British produce including lamb.