Strong start to the year for cheese exports

The AHDB Dairy team has been striving to build on an already strong year for British cheese, by expanding its trade Page 2 Cheese Exports Articledevelopment programme to promote speciality cheeses around the world.

Figures from AHDB show exports of cheese went up 29% in the first quarter of the year to almost £143m, with almost 40,000 tonnes of cheese exported around the world – a rise of 3% compared to the same time last year.

Most were destined for the EU, where exports grew by 8% – but one of the biggest growth markets was Asia and Oceania, where exports rose by 36% to 1,798 tonnes.

AHDB’s Senior Exports Manager for Dairy Lucy Randolph said: “These latest figures are very encouraging for the dairy sector. It is fantastic to see that cheese from Britain is in demand around the world and markets are recognising our high quality and sophisticated products.

“While exports to Europe are still incredibly strong, it’s encouraging to see non-EU exports have grown since the start of the year. It’s important with Brexit that we look further afield for opportunities for our exporters.”

Recent AHDB worldwide promotions include shoppers in Delhi being offered tastings in supermarkets. About 65 chefs, dairy buyers and local media attended a tasting session in Hong Kong to promote a range of artisan and premium cheeses.

In May we exhibited at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago–America’s largest annual foodservice trade show–as well as Asia’s leading food and hospitality trade show Hofex in Hong Kong. July also saw us attending the Speciality and Fine Food Asia event in Singapore.

Lucy said: “We‘ve enjoyed an incredibly busy 12 months, having increased our presence at food shows around the world, particularly targeting non-EU countries where we’re keen to make our mark in this competitive market.”