New mentoring scheme to support food and drink businesses export products around the world

A new Government-backed mentorship scheme will help food and drink manufacturers export their products around the world, it has been revealed.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) said the programme – which is being run in partnership with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the National Farmers Union (NFU) – will help businesses trade overseas for the first time.

According to the department, free mentoring sessions and digital newsletters will help farmers, manufacturers and producers understand international customs and tax processes and help businesses take advantage of reduced trading tariffs around the world.

The first round of mentoring sessions – set to take place later in the year – will focus on dairy, red meat, seafood and packaged and processed food.

Commenting on the new scheme, AHDB International Market Development Director Dr Phil Hadley said: “This scheme allows businesses to share their expertise and knowledge with would-be exporters and equip them with the tools they need to sell their products around the world. It will provide huge benefits to UK farmers who work tirelessly to produce high quality food whilst also allowing mentors to help shape new exporters to meet the growing global demand for British agriculture.”

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart, added: “Businesses which export are more innovative, more productive and pay higher wages. Our agri-mentoring scheme will create more of them and it’s wonderful that industry leaders like Mary Quickes are volunteering to ensure that our trade deals are converted into more trading success.”

According to the latest statistics, the annual British agriculture, food and drink export market is now valued at some £21.7 billion. However, just one in five small and medium-sized food and drink businesses export their products overseas.

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