Monday, July 15, 2019

£230m boost as China says yes to British beef

July 2, 2019 by  
Filed under Livestock

British beef could be served on Chinese dinner plates by the end of the year, following a ground-breaking agreement between Beijing and the UK.

Defra says the deal could be worth an estimated £230m for British producers in the first five years alone. It comes more than 20 years after the Chinese government banned UK beef imports at the height of the BSE crisis in 1996.

Following lengthy negotiations, the UK-China protocol secures market access for UK beef exporters by the end of 2019. It. It was signed by Defra minister Robert Goodwill and Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming.

Mr Goodwill said: “This is a major coup for our world-class food and farming industry, and a landmark move which could be worth £230m for British business in the next five years. [This] milestone reflects our ambition to maximise new trading opportunities across the world.”

The beef protocol is the culmination of several years of site inspections and engagement between UK and Chinese government officials. China’s ban was lifted in June last year when market access engagement for UK beef exports began.

Chinese customs officials will now register and approve a number of UK food business operators British exporters will be required to complete customary paperwork and products may be subject to food safety checks.

AHDB international market development director Dr Phil Hadley said: “This announcement is fantastic news for our meat processors, who are set to benefit massively from the opportunities this new agreement presents.

“It comes after many years spent working tirelessly to reopen access for our beef exports and it’s a real testament to the work of government and other industry bodies to make this happen. We look forward to seeing the first shipments leave the UK bound for China in the near future.”

Other products

UK food and drink exports were worth more than £22bn last year and continue to grow. China is currently the UK’s eighth largest export market for food and drink, with more than £610m worth of products bought by Chinese consumers last year.

The announcement follows approval for five British pork plants to export products to China. That deal will build on a market already worth £70m annually. A further UK pork plants are expected to be approved for export by the end of the 2019.

International trade secretary Liam Fox said the agreement marked the next step in realising the government’s global trading ambitions with British food and determination to secure new markets as the UK left the European Union.

“Today’s step is welcome progress for our world-leading British beef producers, who will soon be able to export their products to one of the world’s largest economies, supporting local jobs and bringing millions of pounds to the UK economy each year.”

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