British food and drink exports have soared in 2018, reaching £16.4 billion in the first nine months as the industry looks to exploit lucrative markets around the globe.
Exports were adding value to the livestock industry, with the UK looking to shift unpopular cuts to countries where they were in demand.
Successes in 2018 included opening access for UK pork to Taiwan, access for UK lamb in India and the lifting of the ban on beef exports to China, said Dr Phil Hadley, AHDB international market development director.
“We can make sure we extract the maximum value to the market by placing the cuts where they are in the most demand,” he said.
Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) market development manager Rhys Llywelyn gave the example of a shoulder of lamb which was difficult to achieve a premium for in the UK as consumers favoured legs.
Scottish exports grew 6.5 per cent as the country looked to double its food exports by 2030.
Wales was the fastest growing exporter in the UK in 2018 and HCC was looking to build trade in Saudi Arabia and India now market access had been secured there.
Mr Llywelyn said: “Where we have been successful is with Qatar. We are delighted to see smaller amounts of trade into Qatar and success in Singapore.”
But despite the opportunities, Mr Llywelyn said this was ‘sometimes overshadowed’ by the fear of losing their biggest European markets if a no-deal Brexit made them uncompetitive.
In 2019, the UK was hoping for certification for trade with Japan and to progress with access to the US for beef and lamb.