Cheese made in the south west is now being exported to the US and Cornish clotted cream to Japan.

These examples show that dairy farmers across the south west are set to benefit from Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), says the government.

These future FTAs will involve US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss visited dairy farms in Cornwall today (Friday, September 18) to see first-hand the potential of agricultural export of the region and to discuss future opportunities for growth.

During her visit to the UK’s largest cheese-making creamery, Saputo Dairy UK, the company announced that cheese brand 'Cathedral City' will now be exported to the US.

The cheese will continue to be made in Cornwall with milk collected from 330 local farms.

Ms Truss said: “From cheddar to clotted cream, there is huge demand for authentic Cornish produce overseas and it’s fantastic to see 'Cathedral City' cheese will soon be available in US stores.

“The trade deals we are negotiating will create even more export opportunities for farmers in Cornwall and across Britain – boosting rural communities and local economies.

“Farmers and their high standards will be protected as part of any trade agreement we negotiate. I will not accept any deal that undermines or undercuts British farmers and makes them less competitive.”

The US is already the south west’s largest export market, accounting for almost one fifth of all the region's goods exports.

A UK-US FTA could significantly reduce or remove tariffs as high as approximately 50 per cent on UK cheese exports, providing a boost for local business.

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Cornwall exported £107m worth of food and livestock in 2018 and new trade agreements with nations all over the world will open markets that local farmers and producers would not have been able to access previously.

FTAs will allow overseas buyers to access UK produce, removing or reducing the tariffs that currently exist.

Last week the UK secured a free trade agreement with Japan, which is the UK’s first major trade deal as an independent trading nation.

As part of the deal, Cornish Clotted Cream, and more flagship British products from the south west, will now be recognised in Japan for the first time.

Liz Truss was joined by Environment Secretary George Eustice during a recent visit to Redruth clotted cream producer Rodda’s.

With support from the Department for International Trade, Rodda’s have recently secured a new deal with Japanese importer Mangos Limited, which has already resulted in over £60,000 of business since July 2020.

Rodda’s managing director, Nicholas Rodda, said: “When my great-great-grandmother started making Cornish clotted cream in her farmhouse kitchen over 130 years ago the idea of sending our Cornish delicacy to Japan would be something she would never have dreamed of.

“As a family business we are delighted that our Cornish clotted cream will help to bring the traditional cream tea to Japan.”

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice said: “We are very clear that this Government will stand firm in trade negotiations to ensure that any future trade deals live up to the values of farmers and consumers across the UK, whilst also putting more trading opportunities on the table for farmers and producers."