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UK Food Imports: A Short Guide for Exporters and Importers

UK Food Imports: A Short Guide for Exporters and Importers

Importing food is a great way that the world connects globally, but it is also something that needs to be well regulated and taken seriously. UK food import statistics show that more than half of the produce in the UK is sourced from abroad. This shows that it is a vital way to get fresh fruit and vegetables, amongst other food products, to country. To keep the UK food import business thriving, it is essential to adhere to the correct policies and procedures.

The UK has good trade relations with the EU. In fact, they source around a quarter of their total food imports from here. Some UK food imports from EU items include fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy, fish, and honey. However, for non-EU countries, there is an import ban on meat and dairy products as well as restrictions on fresh fruit and vegetables. It is also worth noting that some products can only be imported from the EU at specific ports in the UK. A substantial amount of UK food imports from Africa make up the total of imported food products.

Since the climate of the UK doesn’t allow for many fresh fruits and vegetables to grow, importing from the EU and Africa is very helpful. Amongst the top food imports to the UK are bananas from Kenya, oranges from Morocco and Egypt, as well as potatoes, cauliflower, and onions from various other countries. Importing food is an important way to keep the economy flourishing and businesses thriving all year round.

Food can be imported to the UK on an individual scale or a bigger business scale. Either way, there are restrictions in place, or you need to be aware of cross-checks at entry points in the UK if you are carrying food.

Do I Need a Food Import Licence UK?
For food that is going to be used for commercial gain or brought in large quantities, a food import licence may be required. For the importer, it is important to be responsible and have a trustworthy supplier. You should know the name and contact details of the supplier to help ensure quality standard. 

If the food important does not meet the appropriate standards, importers need to report this to the Environmental Health Department. This helps to create appropriate checks and balances in the import industry. Also, please note that most products of animal origins that come from outside the EU require a certificate of product and need to come from an approved establishment in an approved country. 

To better understand if you need a licence to import food goods to the UK, it is best to contact the Rural Payments Agency. They can help give you more information if you need a licence or not for your importing needs. 

For any more questions you have or information, you need be sure to consult the UK food importers directory at Nutrada.
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