News: UK markets


Total milk and cream sales to the EU have slumped 96% in the year to February 2021, and cheese exports were down 65% as a result of Brexit-related trade barriers, according to the Food and Drink Federation. The FDF also found new trading arrangements with Europe had cost exporters more than £1.1bn since January. Figures published by the AHDB, based on HMRC data, showed that 131t of milk and 436t of bulk cream were exported to Europe in February, down from 76,500t of milk and 901t of cream a year earlier. Buttermilk and yogurt exports were down 91% from Feb 2020, butter exports down 89%, milk powder down 86%, whey down 83%t and cheese down 75%.  Extra paperwork, veterinary certification costs and delays are blamed.


Defra are launching a consultation into food labelling at the end of this year, farming minister Victoria Victoria Prentis announced at this week’s RABDF’s virtual Business and Policy conference today. The UK currently imports 45% of its food and some is “not at the same level of where we are” [on standards], she said. “However, these do meet our safety standards. What is clear, though, is people do care about what they eat.” Separately, the government is amending the Agriculture Bill to enable more parliamentary scrutiny on trade after announcing last week that the new Trade and Agriculture Commission would become a statutory body.