Shropshire Star

International farming attachés head to Shropshire

Delegates from around the world descended on a Shropshire farm as part of a national tour.

Elwyn Griffiths showing government food attachés around the site

The UK’s agri-food and drink attachés were welcomed to 10 Downing Street to mark the start of a week meeting ministers and the nation’s food producers.

The eleven attachés based in British embassies and consulates around the world – in Canada, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Kenya, The Gulf, India, Japan, China, Thailand and Vietnam – work to remove trade barriers, identify emerging international markets and tap into growing demand worldwide for quality goods from UK farmers and producers.

In 2023 alone, the attachés have supported the Government in resolving 42 agri-food barriers worth an estimated £340 million per year, with 141 new market access agreements delivered since 2020.

Their recent successes include securing market access for poultry to Tunisia, sheep embryos to the USA, pork to Chile, trout ova to China and pet food to South Korea.

They embarked on a tour the UK, including Griffiths Farm Eggs.

On their visit to Shropshire, the Agri-food attaché for Brazil said: “I was impressed with the innovative technology used at the site to ensure that over two million eggs could be processed in one day.

"The visit made me even more confident in the high-standards British businesses adhere to.”

The Agri-food attaché for Mexico added: “It’s fantastic to see the advanced technology used on the Griffiths farm which demonstrates why the UK is a major global player in agri-tech.”

Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for food and farming, said: “Backing British farmers is one of my priorities at Defra and our attachés do vital work to ensure they get the best possible deals to export their world-class produce.

“We are expanding the attaché network even further next year, so that our excellent food and drink can continue to reach all corners of the globe.”

While in the UK, the attachés met food and farming minister Mark Spencer and attend an industry brunch hosted by NFU President Minette Batters, in addition to further meetings with the Scotch Whisky Association, Seafood Scotland, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Food and Drink Export Council.

NFU President Minette Batters said: “Agri-food attachés play a vital role in delivering our shared ambition of boosting high-quality, climate-friendly British exports abroad which is why we campaigned to grow their number. I’m delighted this network has increased in recent months and I hope it will continue given the incredibly important work they do."

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