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International Trade Minister visits AC Goatham and Son.

International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena visits AC Goatham & Son

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for International Trade Ranil Jayawardena visited AC Goatham & Son on Thursday 27th May 2021 to see the UK’s largest apple and pear growing, cold storage and packing operation, which is located at Flanders Farm, Hoo.

The visit follows the Government’s announcement earlier this week on the launch of a 14-week consultation to seek the views of the public and business on a future free trade deal with India.

This deal could help enable fruit producers like AC Goatham & Son, who grow 1 in 3 of the British apples and pears sold in the UK, to export fruit to India.

International Trade Minister, Ranil Jayawardena MP said:  “It is great to be in Kent today to see first-hand the benefits of free and fair trade to great British Businesses and hear about their exporting success to date.

“India is a huge opportunity – it’s a market of 1.4 billion people – and our Enhanced Trade Partnership is already helping to unlock benefits for our British businesses, such as AC Goatham, who are now able to export their produce to India for the first time having not been able to do so for several years while we were in the EU.”

Ross Goatham Managing Director at AC Goatham & Son comments: “We were delighted to host a meeting from Minister Jayawardena and to show him our fruit, which is supplied to supermarkets across the UK and the packing and cold storage operations here at Flanders Farm. We look forward to exploring the overseas markets that these new UK trade deals present for British apples and pears.”

“As our business continues to grow, we want opportunities to showcase the quality of our British apples and pears, which are all grown here in Medway and Kent. Export is something that we have already successfully trialed to the Middle East and we look forward to opening discussions with interested parties in India.”

The non-tariff barriers on fruit export to India will help boost UK jobs and growth in the top fruit sector and with a population larger than both the EU and US combined, the Indian market (1.4bn people) presents a significant opportunity.