New Zealand, Australia identified as 'priority target markets' in British export plan

Some British ales on the bar at the Sun Inn in Faversham, UK.

Some British ales on the bar at the Sun Inn in Faversham, UK.

The British government is counting on Australia's taste for British beer and cider to boost its Brexit trade plan – and is planning an ad blitz to whet our appetites.

It also hopes we want more of their jam, tea and biscuits

The "UK Food and Drink International Action Plan" was launched on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time) by the UK secretary of state for food Andrea Leadsom – a prominent "Brexiter".

It identified Australia and New Zealand as the first of nine "priority target markets" for an additional £293 million in exports over the next five years.

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That's NZ$497 million right now, though with a plummeting pound it could end up less.

To grab this trade, the UK plans to run advertising campaigns to help the British food and drink industries.

"Australia offers a great opportunity for UK products," the plan said. "There are specific opportunities in traditional British ambient grocery products, health, well-being and free-from and alcoholic drinks (beer and cider).

"We will target key retail buyers, in-store promotions and category development.

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"The Australian prime minister has also made clear his desire to proceed quickly with a new trade deal for Britain."

"Ambient grocery" means tea, biscuits and preserves.

Australia and New Zealand were considered a more promising market for growth than Mexico, Latin America, France or Japan – though not as big as China or India.

The plan includes selling British tea to India and beef to Japan.

The latter is surprising as British beef is still banned from import into Japan, ostensibly due to lingering fears over mad cow disease.

The plan picked out as a case study Scottish biscuit manufacturer Nairn's, which it said "has been baking quality oat-based products since 1896" and counts New Zealand among its most successful export markets.

"Our food and drink is renowned for having the very best standards of animal welfare, quality and safety and I want even more of the world to enjoy what we have to offer," Leadsom said.

 - Sydney Morning Herald

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