Promotion of British food and drink

I recently enquired about what the Government is doing to promote British food and drink and I received the enclosed response:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help promote UK food at home and abroad. (2852)
Tabled on: 18 May 2021

Victoria Prentis:

The Government is stepping up delivery of its manifesto commitment to build demand and promote British food and drink both home and abroad.

We are working with the sector to raise domestic and international awareness of the UK’s growing reputation for high-quality food and drink produced to high standards of food safety, animal welfare and sustainability. This will provide a catalyst for growth for all regions of the UK and increase global recognition of the UK as an innovative food nation.

We are supporting the UK’s farmers and growers to increase domestic production through the Agriculture Act 2020, which offers financial assistance for producers who are starting to grow fruit and vegetables or are seeking to improve their productivity.
By showcasing the UK’s excellent food and drink, we will encourage consumers to explore more of our local and regional products, including iconic geographical indications (GIs), such as Welsh lamb and Cornish clotted cream.

We are refreshing public sector food procurement to place a greater emphasis on local, seasonal and sustainable produce. This will support local business and can play a key role in promoting healthy diets and reducing environmental impacts of food supply. A consultation on strengthening the Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services (GBSF) will be launched later this year.

We have supported the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Seafish and other organisations as they develop consumer-facing marketing campaigns for the meat, dairy and seafood sectors. One example was our support for a campaign by VegPower that encouraged the public to buy local, seasonal vegetables. Additionally, we supported the Seafish ‘Love Seafood’ campaign to raise consumer awareness of fresh seafood caught in UK waters and connecting communities with local producers.

To support this range of domestic promotion initiatives we are also providing food and drink companies with advice and tools to build export capability. The Department for International Trade (DIT) recently launched their Open Doors campaign with a focus on the food and drink sector. This provides companies with access to online tutorials, webinars, mentoring and specialist advice to help them capitalise on export opportunities across the world.

Defra works in tandem with the Department for International Trade to deliver the Food is GREAT campaign, which helps businesses to succeed in overseas markets by building global recognition of UK excellence in food and drink. Food is GREAT is a key element of the joint Defra and DIT agri-food ‘bounce back’ package of trade support and promotion measures announced last June to help support businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus.

The Food is GREAT campaign is focused on priority markets, including the USA, China, Japan and the UAE. Activity is being planned across all priority markets for the coming year, where we will work with UK businesses and UK overseas posts to promote the best of UK food and drink on the international stage.


  1. No Longer Anonymous
    May 27, 2021

    British food will be eaten by those prepared to pay the most to put it on their plates. Sadly that my not be in this country – a sad consequence of hiding away and debasing our currency to pay ourselves not to work.

    There are very tragic consequences to lockdown and not just the disease itself.

    1. Everhopeful
      May 27, 2021


  2. Fred.H
    May 27, 2021

    The response seems to focus on selling the quality of British produce internationally – not encouraging self sustainability in these islands. With farming, including arable, wrestling with the vagaries of weather where are the measures to assist farmers in the face of inability to make ends meet?

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      May 27, 2021

      Partly caused by the push to make meat end.

  3. a-tracy
    May 27, 2021

    I’d be wondering,
    1) what are the origins of the meat and sea fish that goes into cat and dog food sold in the UK. How much is from UK farming and fishing? Can we increase the use of local produce that we are told we can no longer export to the EU and the fish we are told we can no longer export to the EU and some have said we have no other markets for it?

    2) the government has direct control over food supplied to UK hospitals and schools. Are meals pre-prepared and just warmed up now? Who is supplying the ready meals are they UK companies paying corporation tax in the UK? Who is providing the meat and sea fish for these?

    Please ask the government for a portal where UK businesses can report precisely where they have lost trade due to the new EU restrictions.

  4. turboterrier
    May 27, 2021

    As with all these replies where is the paragraph highlighting the measurement and coatings for all the projects they are talking about.
    What gets measured gets done.
    Otherwise situation normal “it’s only words”

  5. Everhopeful
    May 27, 2021

    Food is GREAT….OMG….utterly lost for words.
    Do these people actually sit down and think up this nonsense?

    As for all the great ideas and promises…..

    “A slow sort of country!’ said the Queen. ‘Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.“….. Lewis Carroll, “Through the Looking Glass”.

    This government is well versed in “The Red Queen Effect”.
    It has thrown all the cards up in the air with great energy and abandonment, yet as they land, it neglects to shuffle them properly and continues to play the same old, deadly hand.

  6. Original Richard
    May 27, 2021

    The government will need to change the view of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), an organisation who say they represent the interests of the UK’s food and non-alcoholic drinks manufacturing industry and specific food sectors and whose CEO travels abroad with UK governments to assist with trade deals, as their CEO said in April 2018 on a BBC5 programme :

    “Our consumers and shoppers in the UK are now used to the most fantastic array of choice at all price points and telling them that they have to get their Brie from Somerset rather than from France is not going to be something I would want to do.”

Comments are closed.