February 8, 2018
UK hopes to export beef to China within 6 months
The UK's beef sector anticipates the lifting of China's BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) ban within six months if a visit from Chinese inspectors this spring is successful, AHDB Beef & Lamb said last week.
It said a successful visit would clear the way for detailed discussions and the completion of a five-step process to open the Chinese market to British beef.
The beef and lamb division of the UK levy body Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said that UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who led a three-day trade mission to China last week, announced new measures to improve market access to China in a move that could see beef from the UK exported to the Asian country for the first time in over 20 years.
China is seen as a lucrative market for British farmers. According to AHDB, the Chinese market could be worth £250 million (US$349.435 million) in the first five years.
AHDB said it has been working on the access to the Chinese market over the past two years, during which it led an intensive programme of inspections and visits by the Chinese authorities.
"It is still an ongoing process, but we will continue to play a key role in helping to steer discussions to ensure we unlock the full potential of the Chinese market for beef producers here in the UK", said AHDB Head of Exports Peter Hardwick.
In October 2016, AHDB and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs first hosted a delegation of Chinese officials at a beef farm and abattoir in Surrey to show the country’s "high levels of animal welfare and disease control measures".
China is seeing an increase in beef consumption as its middle-income population grows. In 2015, it imported a total of £1.5 billion (US$1.87 billion) worth of beef, or double the amount imported in 2014. Rick Alberto