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Food and Drink Export Council

Volume 726: debated on Thursday 26 January 2023

Today I am providing an update on the establishment of the Food and Drink Export Council (FDEC).

I am pleased to announce that the inaugural meeting of the FDEC took place on Wednesday 25 January 2023.

The UK Government previously announced their intention to establish the new FDEC in response to recommendation 13 of the Trade and Agriculture Commission. The Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have worked in partnership with the devolved Administrations and industry to develop the remit and membership of the FDEC.

The FDEC is a collaborative expert committee which I co-chair alongside Ian Wright CBE, a leading figure in the industry.

British food and drink are among the best in the world and renowned for their quality and provenance. Exporting supports higher pay and more productive jobs. We are helping our farmers and food producers to seize the opportunity of the enormous global demand for British food and drink. The council has an 18-month term with a focus on harnessing the expertise and resource from Government and industry across the UK in a collective endeavour to increase agriculture, food, and drink exports. It brings together dynamic agriculture, food, and drink sector experts from across the UK with an onus on sharing knowledge, raising ambition, building capability, and effective collaboration. The full membership is listed below:

1. Ian Wright CBE (co-chair)

2. Andy Richardson, Volac

3. Anthony Mulley, Quorn

4. Dominic Goudie, Food and Drink Federation

5. Donna Fordyce, Seafood Scotland

6. Ewen Cameron, Scottish Development International

7. Grainne Moody, Invest NI

8. Helen Dallimore, Coombe Castle

9. lain Baxter, Scotland Food and Drink

10. Keith Smyton, Welsh Government

11. Lee Hemmings, Belvoir Farm

12. Margaret Boanas, International Meat Trade Association

13. Michael Bell OBE, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association

14. Nick von Westenholz, National Farmers Union

15. Patricia Dillon, Speyside Distillers

16. Phil Hadley, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

17. Rachel Gwyon, DIT

18. Sandra Sullivan MBE, Food and Drink Exporters Association

19. Tee Sandhu, SamosaCo

20. Tim Brooks, DEFRA

The launch of the FDEC reflects the UK Government’s strategy to promote exports from all parts of the UK and level up the country. It is a genuine partnership which recognises and respects the unique and different approaches to supporting exports that have evolved across the whole of the UK. The FDEC has no remit to discuss strategic trade policy, negotiations of free trade agreements, or areas of devolved or reserved competence.

You can find out more about the FDEC here: