UK-Japan trade deal signed


Rodda’s MD Nicholas Rodda has welcomed today’s signing of a historic UK-Japan trade deal.

South west dairy producers and farmers are among the businesses set to benefit from the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was signed in Tokyo today (Oct 23) by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu.

The British-shaped deal is the first agreement that the UK has secured that goes beyond the existing EU deal, with enhancements in areas such as food and drink, creative industries, digital and data.

This agreement could benefit farmers and agri-food exporters, from English wine producers to dairy products, within an industry that employs over 30,000 people across the south west.

Dairy exports are among the sectors prospering from protection of their supply chains and increased recognition of Geographical Indicators (GIs). Cornish Clotted Cream is among 14 iconic south west products that could be protected in Japan for first time as part of the UK-Japan trade deal.

Supported by the Department for International Trade (DIT), Rodda’s recently secured a new deal with Japanese importer Mangos Limited, which has already resulted in over £60k of business since July 2020.

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.”

The deal provides an opportunity for the south west to build on its specialist dairy exports, with producers of blue cheese and Cheddar set to benefit from the removal of tariffs. In 2019, there was a 39% increase in British cheese exports to Japan, from £1.6 million in 2018 to £2.2 million in 2019.

Truss said:“Today is a landmark moment for the UK. It shows what we can do as an independent trading nation, as we secure modern and bespoke provisions in areas like tech and services that are critical to the future of our country and the reshaping of our economy.

“Trade is a powerful way to deliver the things people really care about. At its heart, this deal is about creating opportunity and prosperity for all parts of our United Kingdom and driving the economic growth we need to overcome the challenges of coronavirus.”