Blog: Industry-wide dairy export drive

Thursday, 21 March 2024

A drive to help boost British dairy exports following an additional £1m investment from the Government will take shape this year, with AHDB very much at the forefront.

International trade remains of paramount importance to the dairy sector, and we are anticipating some promising developments for our exporters in 2024.

Working collaboratively with industry and government, a drive to help boost British dairy exports following an additional £1m investment from the Government will take shape this year, with AHDB very much at the forefront of delivering these services.

Export development remains one of the cornerstones of our work to help our dairy exporters thrive and grow.

Working in partnership with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), we’ll play a key role in delivering the Dairy Export Programme to promote British dairy products in international markets over the next two-and-a-half years.

The Dairy Export Programme is the result of the £1m committed by the Prime Minister at the Farm to Fork Summit in May 2023 to boost UK dairy exports, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

It is part of wider measures to support the agrifood industry and will run until the end of March 2026.

The programme was agreed following consultations with the industry-led Dairy Export Taskforce, which convenes UK dairy businesses and industry bodies such as AHDB, NFU, Dairy UK, DBT and Defra.

We will play the lead role in delivering the programme with input from the Dairy Export Taskforce and governance from the DBT.

The UK-wide programme aims to help businesses grasp exciting new opportunities around the world and drive dairy export growth.

The additional £1m will support our dairy export development, and we are in the process of finalising the strategy around specific activity.

It will, however, include the creation of three in-market, dairy-specific, commercially focused roles in the USA, the Middle East and Asia, which were partly funded by the Government to support our ambitions for dairy exports in these markets.

The programme is designed to unlock new opportunities for our dairy exports in growth markets around the world.

It will include a global event, showcasing the UK’s world-class dairy products and bringing buyers from around the world to the UK to meet and do business with our exporters.

It will also include educational work to help UK producers build export capability and market insight, as well as raise awareness of our world-class dairy products on the global stage.

This activity will build on our long-established export work to support levy payers, which last year included a major presence at the world’s key international trade shows.

In October, Kevin Hollinrake MP, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business at the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), joined us and 14 dairy exporters at Anuga in Cologne, underlining our joint commitment to grow our reputation as a producer of quality, safe and wholesome food.

We also hosted five dairy exporters at the Food and Hospitality Show China (FHC) to meet existing customers and potential new ones from the key Chinese market. It was the first time post-pandemic that the AHDB Dairy Export team had returned to China, and it was immensely successful. There is enormous potential in China and the wider Asia region for our exporters to fulfil consumer demand for high-quality British dairy produce. FHC allowed us to raise further awareness of what we have to offer in these markets and put our exporters in direct contact with buyers.

To reiterate, one of AHDB’s key strategic objectives is export development, working with industry and government to cultivate further opportunities for our dairy sector.

The Dairy Export Programme further illustrates our shared commitment to developing activity that delivers tangible results for our levy payers.

It will help build on our existing work and we look forward to helping our exporters continue to thrive in 2024 and beyond.