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£330 million of UK cheese exports headed to EU market

Staff writer |
From traditional cheddar to Somerset brie, £330 million of UK cheese exports went to the EU market in 2015.

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Export volumes increasing by 8 percent since 2010, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said today.

Visiting Somerset’s Wyke Farms, the Environment Secretary hailed the success of British cheese exports, three-quarters of which went to Europe last year. France alone bought £59 million of British cheese, which is gaining a growing reputation across the continent for its quality and taste.

Demand for Wyke’s award-winning cheddar is growing rapidly in France, with sales up by 30 percent last year.

Last year 60 percent of all its exports went to the EU, with top customers being France, Spain and Czech Republic.

Outside the EU, cheese producers like Wyke Farms could face crippling tariffs of up to 30 percent to sell their produce to Europe, costing an additional £169 million per year and meaning EU consumers would pay much higher prices for UK cheese.

New figures from HMRC recently revealed the UK exports far more cheese to France than to the U.S., despite the U.S. population being nearly five times larger—in 2015, cheese exports to France were worth £59.5m compared to £45.6m to the U.S.

Last year, UK exports to Ireland alone - UK's top EU market — were worth £74.7m, more than our exports to the U.S., Canada, UAE, South Africa, Australia and China combined.

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