Food minister calls for cheese exports boost

Image caption,
The UK imports far more dairy products than it exports

The British dairy industry should make more cheeses to export to the world, food minister Jim Paice has said.

The UK imports £2.3bn of dairy products but exports only £900m - despite there being more than 700 different British cheeses compared with 400 French.

Mr Paice said the industry needed to invest in milk processing to help it become a net exporter.

Speaking ahead of World Milk Day on Tuesday, he said the UK imported cheese that could be made by home producers.

'Iconic cheeses'

And he added that not enough milk was being produced for processing.

"We now need to help the dairy industry invest in processing, so that we can become a net exporter of all dairy products and send Britain's iconic cheeses and other dairy products to the world.

"At the moment the UK imports a significant quantity of high-quality cheeses and other dairy products which our home industry could just as effectively produce here."

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