You have to admire the audacity of the Tory ‘post-truth’ world of Brexit.
At the Tory party conference speech today, environment secretary Andrea Leadsom declared:
We’re selling coffee to Brazil, sparkling wine to France and naan bread to India.
Are we really selling coffee to Brazil?
So how much coffee is grown in the UK and sold to Brazil?
Political Scrapbook called the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs to ask.
Hello, could you tell us how much coffee the UK is selling to Brazil? Or just… how much coffee does the UK make?
It took a moment for the spokesperson to realise this was a serious question.
You see, Britain’s climate isn’t exactly conducive to coffee growing.
That said, in 2008 the Eden Project in Cornwall managed to grow what were the first cups of coffee made from beans grown in the UK. But that was merely about 50 cups worth – hardly enough for exporting.
Our spokesperson tried to give an answer nevertheless
Well, it was a political speech… perhaps she meant coffee processing? *hopeful tone*
We’ll… err… get back to you if we can find that information.
UPDATE: A spokesperson from DEFRA has now got in touch to point out that the UK exported £1m of [processed] coffee to Brazil, and £270m worldwide from Jan to June 2016.
So, we’re importing coffee to process it and export it out again. Hardly what was implied in the speech