The overriding message from AHDB’s annual export conference Global Britain is that industry must work together to ensure we are prepared for whatever the future holds.

Throughout the day, a line-up of experts discussed some of the most important and timely topics facing industry today, including UK trade discussions, new market access and the short and long term impacts of Brexit.

AHDB International market development director Dr Phil Hadley kicked off the conference by giving an overview of the current situation for UK exports – highlighting some of the recent market access wins including China, Japan and Taiwan.

He said: “We are rightly proud of our export successes but there are potentially turbulent times ahead. Global Britain is such an important event as it brings together industry leaders and experts across a number of platforms who have the knowledge and expertise to help us all face the challenges and make the most of any opportunities. This is vital if we are to prosper during these changeable times.”

Doug Forsyth, the director general for trade policy at the Department of Global Affairs for Canada talked about the Canada-UK post Brexit trade discussions.

He said that while there are challenges in the post Brexit world due to the degree of uncertainty in terms of market access, there are also opportunities as long as the two countries continue to work together.

When asked what a new trade deal between the two countries could look like, Mr Forsyth said there were opportunities to go beyond CETA, saying there are areas of the agreement that could be improved.

A panel session was held on the short term impacts and long term solutions of Brexit, chaired by AHDB’s market intelligence director Phil Bicknell.

Mr Bicknell said: “We know that short term uncertainty has delayed decisions on-farm and the panel discussion was a stark reminder to focus on what you can influence. Issues like knowing your costs, understanding your markets, and being savvy about the opportunities were central to the discussion.”

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