The Secretary of State will hear the views of from local producers at The South of England Show tomorrow (June 5).
Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will visit the event in Ardingly to see the food the South East has to offer and hear more on how government can help local producers.
The UK’s food and drink industry is now its largest manufacturing sector and exports have increased to an impressive £18.9 billion in 2013.
The Secretary of State launched the ‘International Exports Action Plan’ and ‘Food is Great’ campaign last year to help local businesses to tap into the food and drink markets.
These initiatives will see Government working closely together with industry to promote more trade, breaking down barriers and opening up more overseas markets.
EU ‘Protected Food Name’ status is also a key scheme which can help local food businesses grow.
UK producers who register their products for protection under this scheme benefit from having a raised awareness of their product throughout Europe. This may in turn help them take advantage of consumers’ increasing awareness of the importance of regional and specialty foods.
The Secretary of State will be encouraging more local food businesses to register their unique products to this scheme at the show.