April 24, 2018


UK red meat sector explores export opportunities in Philippines, Singapore



The UK's meat sector is on a trade "offensive" in Southeast Asia as it sent a two-day British Meat Trade Mission to the Philippines last week and is showcasing its quality red meat at an international trade show in Singapore this week.


The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) led the visit in Manila, alongside eight processors from the UK who met with key importers and distributors.


The mission followed an announcement in August last year that UK beef would be back on dinner plates in the Philippines after export approval was agreed, estimated to be worth £34 million (€37.6 million) over the next five years.


Market access for beef was withdrawn in 1996 due to BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease) concerns; the ban was lifted in 2001.


During the visit, the UK delegation met with the Philippine Association of Meat Importers and discussed production protocols and food safety standards. It also engaged in a question-and-answer session with concerned Philippine authorities.


AHDB Export's head of Asia-Pacific Jonathan Eckley said the two-day mission was "an important part of an ongoing process to identify opportunities and increase our meat exports to the Philippine market".


"The Philippines is the largest food and drink market in southeast Asia with meat consumption expected to grow by ten per cent over the next five years", he explained.


"The mission has allowed us to not only find opportunities for UK beef exports, but also to increase our offering of pork – a market we already enjoy a great deal of success with", Eckley added.


Showcasing red meat in Singapore


Meanwhile, the British red meat levy bodies have joined forces to showcase quality red meat from across the country at the international trade show Food and Hotel Asia in Singapore on April 24-27.


This will be the first time that AHDB, QMS and Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC, or Meat Promotion Wales) are exhibiting together, showcasing premium meat products from England, Scotland and Wales.


"Singapore is a market which loves high-value consumer products. It's a vibrant, dynamic city-state with one of the highest standards of living in the world, yet very competitive. British products are in general well recognised and respected in Singapore and our exports there have been growing year on year", said Susana Morris, AHDB senior export manager.


Last year, British exports of beef to Singapore grew 9%, while pork and lamb saw even bigger increases of 44% and 29%, respectively. 


The city-state has very little local agricultural production and depends largely on food imports. It is also ideal for exploiting surrounding markets as 70% of products exported to Singapore are then re-exported to neighbouring countries.

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