Stateside boost to help UK dairy exports be cream of the crop

Thursday, 25 April 2024

Help to grow UK dairy exports in the USA has been given a boost with the appointment of a new in-market specialist. 

We've appointed Victor Willis, who has over 25 years of retail and manufacturing experience in the dairy sector, as vice president of market development (USA).

He will be our new dairy products representative in the USA.

The role, jointly funded by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), will see Victor working closely with dairy exporters to help grow further opportunities for the sector in the US market.

It comes after the Government launched its new Dairy Export Programme last November, committing to providing specialist resources in the sector's priority markets and maximising the opportunities presented.

The programme was the result of the Government’s decision at last year’s Farm to Fork summit to invest £1m in the dairy sector – as part of a wider package to support agriculture, food and drink – to boost UK dairy exports, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The programme was developed in consultation with industry, and facilitated by the industry-led Dairy Export Taskforce, ensuring activities addressed the sector’s needs.

The programme includes helping develop the export capability of UK businesses and championing their products on the global stage.

The taskforce represents industry and is supported by industry bodies such as AHDB, NFU and Dairy UK. DBT and DEFRA are also represented on the taskforce.

The USA is the UK’s second biggest dairy export market. Our analysis has highlighted further opportunities over the next decade with increasing levels of cheese consumption.

Lucy Randolph, AHDB Head of International Trade Development (Dairy), said:

“The USA is an important market for UK dairy exporters and we have identified further long-term opportunities to build on the successes our industry has already achieved.

“A key part of driving that growth is the support of having a strong in-market presence and we are delighted that Victor has joined the team to work with UK dairy exporters to help fulfil their full potential in the important US market.

"His wealth of experience in developing market strategy, brand development and product innovation will be invaluable.”

Dr Phil Hadley, AHDB International Trade Development Director, said:

“Our dairy levy payers have told us how much they value AHDB’s work to support exports and want to see more of it.

"The additional Government money announced last year was welcome in complementing AHDB’s annual investment in providing tools and support to help drive dairy exports forward.

“The collaborative approach between AHDB and Government to drive UK export growth is well established and Victor’s appointment is a further demonstration of our shared commitment to helping ensure our dairy exports thrive on the global stage.”

Further information

Dairy exports