Rodda's MD, Nicholas Rodda

Cornish Clotted Cream, Fal Oysters and Darnibole wine are among 14 iconic south west products that could be protected in Japan for first time as part of the UK-Japan trade deal.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was agreed in principle by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Japan Foreign Minister on a video call this morning (Sep 11). It is the UK’s first major trade deal outside the EU.

The deal secures additional benefits beyond the EU-Japan trade deal, including a way for south west products to be officially recognised. By increasing geographical indications (GIs) from just seven under the terms of the EU-Japan deal to potentially over 70 under the UK-Japan agreement, this would lead to improved recognition of key UK brands in the Japanese market.

Products that could benefit from the new arrangements are Cornish clotted cream, Cornish pasties, Cornish sardines, Darnibole wine, English regional wine, English wine, Dorset Blue cheese, Exmoor Blue cheese, Fal oysters, Gloucestershire cider, Single Gloucester, Somerset cider brandy, West Country beef and West Country lamb.

A deal could increase UK trade with Japan by £15.2 billion, giving a £1.5 billion boost to economy and increasing UK workers’ wages by £800 million in the long run. This will benefit the 805 businesses in the south west that exported to Japan last year and help even more local businesses to sell their goods to Japan for the first time.

One business already experiencing success in the Japanese market is Cornish clotted cream producer, Rodda’s. 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.

The Rodda family have been making Cornish clotted cream on the same site for five generations, with the creamery now exporting all over the world to countries including Dubai, Hong Kong and Sweden.

MD 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.”

The removal of several trade barriers aims to assist the UK’s 8,000 SMEs already exporting goods to Japan, by offering tariff-free trade on 99% of UK exports to Japan.

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said: “This is a historic moment for the UK and Japan. This is our first major post-Brexit trade deal and it goes far beyond the existing EU deal by securing new wins for British businesses including in our great manufacturing, food and drink, and tech industries.”