September 18, 2013

Russia lifts 18-year ban on UK beef and lamb imports


Russia has lifted an 18-year ban on British beef and lamb imports through a three-year trade deal worth up to US$161.3 million, according to the UK's Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).


The agreement includes a US$11.3-million contract for lamb meat, and paves the way for an additional US$3.2 million contract for beef offal, DEFRA said.


ABP Dorset, a subsidiary of private food processor, ABP Food Group, will supply lamb to a Russian distributor.


"I'm thrilled that our negotiations with Russia have proved successful," said the UK's Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson. "This is a credit to our vets and producers who have all worked amazingly hard to meet the required export standards. With the inclusion of offal as part of the deal, the gates of opportunity are now well and truly open for our meat industry."


"The progress we have made is testament to the high standards of production and traceability for which British products are famous," Paterson added. "This deal is great news for farmers, exporters and the UK economy as a whole."


Food and beverage exports from the UK to Russia have grown by more than 220% since 2000, with a current value of more than US$194 million, according to DEFRA.


Russia previously imposed the British meat suspension after an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the mid-90s.