By Daniel Hunter

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is in China flying the flag for British food.

He is with a delegation of 35 British food and drink businesses, tapping into the Chinese market at the Food and Hotel China exhibition in Shanghai.

The British companies span the food and drinks market, from tea and beers to cheese, smoked salmon, desserts and confectionary. The food and drink industry contributed a staggering £96.1 billion to the UK economy last year, employing nearly four million people. It's the UK's largest manufacturing sector, creating more than 8,500 new products a year.

The UK is continuing to cash in on its global reputation for quality food and drink, increasing exports by nearly 50% in the past decade, to the value of £18.2 billion.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: "British food is renowned across the world for quality and our smoked salmon, pork, chocolate and Scotch whisky are already popular here in China. I'm in Shanghai to bring some more great British products to Chinese buyers and help get more of British food and drink onto your supermarket shelves."

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness