EXPORTS of Welsh food and drink hit a record high in 2021, it has been announced.
The total value of food and drink exports to the Welsh economy last year was £641 million, the Welsh Government’s rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths has announced.
Wales also saw the largest percentage increase in the value of food and drink exports out of the four UK nations between 2020 and 2021, rising by £89 million, an increase of 16.1 per cent.
Meat and meat products were the most popular export, worth £187 million last year, while the value of cereal and cereal preparations rocketed from £51 million to £139 million – an increase of 173 per cent.
Exports to the EU accounted for 73 per cent of the total, worth £465 million – up £51 million from the previous.
Eight of the top ten Welsh food and drink export destinations were within the EU, with the Republic of Ireland remaining the top customer, with a value of £113 million.
The two non-EU destinations in the top 10 were the USA and Saudi Arabia.
Exports to France were also high, with a value of £100 million, followed by the Netherlands at £49 million and Germany, at £44 million.
Exports to Belgium also increased significantly, from £21 million in 2020 to £56 million last year – a rise of 162 per cent. The highest value category to the country was dairy products and birds eggs.
Ms Griffiths said: “It is great news Welsh food and drink exports have reached their highest value ever.
“The past couple of years have been very challenging and these figures clearly demonstrate the resilience and determination of our Welsh companies to succeed in overseas markets.
“The industry in Wales is also leading the way out of the four UK nations with the largest percentage increase in the value of food and drink exports.
“I am pleased the Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Export Programme is supporting businesses to broaden trade in new and existing markets in countries around the world.”