Farmers set for major boost from new trade deals
By Sarah Wood | 21st August 2020
Farmers across the South West will benefit from future Free Trade Agreements with the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, opening up new opportunities to sell local produce overseas.
Ranil Jayawardena, international trade minister, visited a number of farms across the South West, including Quicke's Farm and The Black Farmer, to see first-hand the agricultural exporting potential of the region and discuss future opportunities for growth.
Government analysis shows that a future trade deal with the US could deliver a £284 million boost to the South West economy, including for the South West's specialist dairy producers and agricultural industry. The deal will help to create new jobs and boost wages nationwide by £800 million a year in the long run.
The US is already the South West's largest export market, accounting for almost a fifth of the South West's goods exports. A UK-US trade deal could eliminate tariffs of up to 25 per cent on South West dairy products and cheese sold in the US.
One business already taking advantage of the US market is Quicke's farm. The Exeter-based farm specialises in award-winning cheeses and already exports 25 per cent of their cheese to the US.
Ranil Jayawardena said: "A future free trade agreement with the US will help lower barriers and bring benefits to thousands of farmers and small businesses across the South West by reducing costs and cutting red tape on agricultural exports.
"I am delighted to be visiting farms across the South West today to highlight the opportunities such a deal would provide for our farmers and hear first-hand the export success already being enjoyed.
"We want to work hand in hand with farmers across the UK to make sure they have the tools and support they need to take advantage of new global markets like the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand."
Mary Quicke, managing director of Quicke's, said: "Exporting is very important to Quicke's with 40 per cent of our cheeses going abroad. A Free Trade Agreement is essential for us to thrive."
The UK's negotiating objectives make clear that any future agreement must protect and uphold our high standards on food safety and animal welfare.
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