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MP questions farming minister on agricultural exports

April 29, 2014 4:27 PM

TF ruralSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has pressed the Government to set out plans to boost agricultural exports as part of the economic recovery.

Tim pushed ministers at the Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to lay out their plans to increase agricultural exports in regions such as the South Lakes.

The Farming Minister, George Eustice, told Tim that the Government have set up an Exports Action Plan last October to boost the British economy by £500m, supporting 1,000 businesses by October 2015.

He also pointed out that food and drink exports have been rising, as part of the broader economic recovery-from £18.2bn in 2012 to £18.9bn, and 50% higher than 10 years ago.

UK Trade and Industry have also set up a special unit including industry experts whose job it is to improve the value and volume of exports. It is working abroad to help UK-based companies succeed in international markets.

Tim said: "Agricultural exports are a really essential part of the economy for rural areas like the South Lake District. Farmers and local businesses depend on good trade for their livelihood and farmers in my area often ask me what the Government is doing to boost exports.

"I'm very grateful to the Farming Minister for his answer and I welcome everything that the Government is doing to help agricultural businesses in my patch. I will continue to make the case for additional support-pushing government ministers is an essential part of that."