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Trade and manufacturing

A UK trade and investment strategy for food and drink: Report with the FDF


Global Counsel has supported the UK Food and Drink Federation (FDF) in producing a new flagship trade and investment strategy for the UK’s food and drink sector. As the UK sets out a broad new trade policy outside the EU and seeks new and updated free trade agreements, it needs a refreshed trade policy for the sector that addresses imports and exports, sustainability and standards, border regulation and investment and innovation, as well as the interaction between these four strategic areas.

The trade and investment strategy provides 20 clear recommendations to enable the UK government to achieve these aims for the food and drink sector, underpinned by active collaboration between industry and government.

FDF report food strategy model


Section 1 of the report considers the foundations for a UK trade policy for food and drink by stepping back and assessing the balance of imports and exports in the UK’s food and drink mix, its strengths as a food and drink exporter and the priorities these imply for its trade policy.

Section 2 of the report considers how the UK should assess the case for reforming its external tariff and the ways it should link its preferential tariff rates to commitments to high food and drink production and animal welfare standards in the same way in does in the areas of labour and environmental standards. It also looks at how the UK can use innovative approaches to rules of origin to boost FTA utilisation rates. On export promotion, the report concludes that a targeted strategy focused on value-added exports is needed, including a strong focus of defending brand equity and IP in UK products.

Section 3 of the report identifies a series of priorities for UK regulatory diplomacy focused on developing the concept of Mutual Regulatory Reliance as a way of easing regulatory obligations at the border. It also proposes a wide range of ways in which the reforms to the regulatory regime for the UK border can support greater food and drink trade, especially for smaller firms.

Section 4 of the report considers how trade policy choices can reinforce an innovative ecosystem for food and drink and attract long-term investment.

You can read the report here

    The views expressed in this report can be attributed to the named author(s) only.