NSA welcomes the measures to boost agri-food exports unveiled this week

17th September 2021

The National Sheep Association (NSA) welcomes the measures introduced by Government to boost British food and drink exports, announced on 15th September to mark ‘Back British Farming Day 2021’.

These include:

  • appointing more dedicated ‘agri-food attaches’ to unlock key global markets
  • establishing a Food and Drink Exports Council to expand our exports strategy
  • strengthening technical expertise to help exporters benefit from market opportunities

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker comments: “This is a welcome and essential development if Britain is to benefit from growing export opportunities. If the trading obstacles that our lamb exporters are experiencing when moving products to the EU continue then we will see an ongoing trend of less British lamb heading to Europe. It may seem illogical to turn away from our nearest market, but the truth is that we need as many trading opportunities as possible, and if less is going to the EU then we need to invest in accessing new markets across the world”.

As an independent trading nation, NSA supports the ambition to take advantage of formerly unavailable opportunities through trade deals for British agriculture, and to promote the high standards and natural way our lamb is produced.

In the first half of 2021 Britain’s lamb exports to the EU dropped by around 30% compared to the same period in 2020. Mr Stocker continues: “During this period our domestic market has proven to be essential and we have also been fortunate that lamb imports have been down due to nervousness of the impact of Brexit on our sheepmeat markets. But with trade agreements with the world’s two largest sheepmeat exporters, New Zealand and Australia progressing rapidly, it is essential that Britain opens as many viable trade opportunities as possible. In comparison with other exporting nations the resources Britain has previously invested in senior trade development attaches has been woefully inadequate, so this news is very welcome and is something the NSA has long called for.”