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British Food Exports

Volume 527: debated on Thursday 12 May 2011

DEFRA leads on a number of initiatives to support British food exports, such as working with industry to develop export certification schemes for non-EU markets. A recent success has been certifying dairy products for export to India. We are working with the food industry, and across government, to maximise the growth potential through overseas trade. That commitment is clear in the recently published UK trade and industry strategy.

I thank the Minister for his answer. Two of my constituents run a very successful pet food company, First Class Foods Ltd. They are trying to tap into international demand, but they face a significant obstacle in China because, surprisingly, we do not have the relevant export licence. Will he help to bring good, wholesome, tasty British pet food to Chinese cats and dogs by addressing this issue?

I shall resist all the obvious temptations in that question. I am aware of First Class Foods in my hon. Friend’s constituency. The difficulties of entering the Chinese market are not confined to pet food; it took us three years to make the necessary import arrangements in respect of breeding pigs. However, my officials are working with the Chinese Government and, in particular, their General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine to find a way forward so that his company can export good quality pet food to China.