Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss will meet with UK farmers and banking experts today to make the best use of available EU funding.
The food and farming industry could benefit from an extra €360 billion in EU funding to help SMEs and larger processors grow their businesses, the Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said.
In a meeting with UK farmers and banking experts she will agree plans to make best use of these funds to boost the productivity and competitiveness of farm businesses. This important funding would only be available if we remain part of the EU.
The money can be used to help build successful British agricultural businesses, including grants to fund start-ups, improve infrastructure, develop skills, find business partners abroad and pilot new product lines.
Between 2011 and 2015, dairy companies in the UK invested just €468m in their businesses, compared to €1.4bn in Germany and €785m in Ireland – highlighting the opportunities that additional funding could bring to the UK industry.
Investment in additional processing capacity, for example, would help us address the £1.3bn dairy deficit, which means less than half the butter and cheese we eat is made here in the UK.
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:
“Unlocking access to our share of €360 billion of European funding will help unleash the talent and ambition across our world-leading food and farming industry, from supporting punchy start-ups to developing the very latest technology in production methods.
Last year our dairy exports hit £1.4 billion so we know there’s a growing appetite for quality British dairy products. The funding will help innovative businesses produce more high-demand products such as yoghurts and cheeses in the UK, creating more jobs, increasing productivity and making the sector more resilient.”