Business / Industries

Expo to facilitate growth in British food shipments

By Shi Jing (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-12 10:57

A strong showing by the very best in United Kingdom food is expected at the ongoing China's Global Food & Hospitality Trade Show, headed by good-old fashioned British fish and chips.

The UK has sent an 80-strong delegation to the 19th session of the event at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre China.

Elizabeth Truss, the UK's secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, outlined the UK's commitment to boosting food exports, and bringing more of the country's top quality food and drink to supermarkets across China.

Apart from Scotch whisky, which has enjoyed growing popularity in China in recent years, sales of British gin, pork, salmon and dairy products have all been growing.

The value of dairy products exported to China alone reached 24 million pounds ($33.8 million) last year, more than double that of 2013.

According to Truss, China has become the second largest importer of British food outside Europe. In 2014, UK food and beverage exports to China rose 9 percent year-on-year to reach 281 million pounds. Its total agricultural exports to China, including leather goods and hides, were worth as much as 495 million pounds.

Truss also expects China to become the UK's largest food importer by 2018.

As a celebration of the Single's Day shopping festival which coincides with the opening date of the three-day show, a special gin and tonic promotion is being held at some of the British booths.

Speaking of the rising e-commerce industry in China, Truss said they are in discussion with a number of leading online platforms such as Alibaba, and

The British government is working hard at promoting smaller food and drink manufacturers enter the Chinese market, by helping them identify Chinese e-retailers.

"We know that China values quality, tradition and safety, which is why more and more of our food are now available in your supermarket shelves," said Truss.

"There is also a thriving market for Chinese food back in the UK. That's why we are committed to driving exports by opening new markets here."

Karen Morgan has just taken up a new role at the British Embassy in Beijing as agriculture, food and drink counselor-the first UK counselor specializing in the area-which she said underlined the seriousness of the Chinese market to British companies.

"Cementing our standing in the Chinese market is a vital part of the British government's long-term economic plan. We are investing heavily in China and are committed to helping UK companies benefit from China's vast and varied markets," said Morgan.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks