Figures released by Defra have shown that overseas sales of UK food and drink continued to soar in 2017, reaching record levels.
Exports of over £22 billion were recorded, with 13.4 million tonnes of goods sent abroad. This represents an increase of more than £2 billion on 2016.
UK food and drink businesses are now selling their products to 217 markets – with sales of milk & cream increasing by 61%, salmon by 23% and pork by 14%.
An increasing thirst for British tipples has also seen bottles of UK beer appearing on shelves as far as Japan and New Zealand, while gin continues to go through a ‘ginaissance’ with international sales of UK brands reaching over £500 million.
From January to December 2017 we also sent £85 million worth of cheese to France, £21 million of chocolate to Belgium and even £2 million of tea to China.
Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove said: “Farmers, fisherman and our food producers are all helping to deliver a Brexit bonus – with more exports of British food and drink than ever.
“Contrary to the constant negativity of the doom-mongers, the British economy is going from strength to strength showing that a Green Brexit can deliver for the whole country.”
Major UK exports include:
Whisky (£4.5 billion)
Salmon (£720 million)
Chocolate (£680 million)
Cheese (£623 million)
Beer (£603 million)
Shellfish (£600 million)
Top 5 countries we export to:
Irish Republic (£3.7 billion)
France (£2.3 billion)
USA (£2.3 billion)
Netherlands (£1.5 billion)
Germany (£1.4 billion)