November 25, 2016
British beef producers have made a step closer to exporting their products to China, following a vote of confidence from inspectors, AHDB Beef & Lamb reported.
The beef and lamb division of the UK levy body Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said that for the first time last month, AHDB and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs 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".
The visit, which included a meeting with the Animal and Plant Health Agency, was part of a plan to open exports of British beef to China, which is seen as a lucrative market for British farmers.
"This visit from the Chinese delegation was a significant step towards opening the door for our world-class beef into this hugely lucrative market", said Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom, who visited China last week where she met businesses and government ministers to discuss increased trade opportunities for UK food and drink.
'Small but important step'
Phil Hadley, AHDB Beef & Lamb head of global supply chain development, said: "This was a small but important step on the road to exports to China. It was a very good and worthwhile visit and the next steps have been agreed".
"We are at the beginning of a long road and it is going to take some time to negotiate the full opening of the market", he added.
China is seeing an increase in beef consumption as its middle-income population grows. Last year it imported a total of £1.5 billion (US$1.87 billion) worth of beef, or double the amount imported in 2014.