Aussie Beef & Lamb brand launches in UK following FTA
Following the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the UK and Australia in 2021, which came into effect earlier this year, the Aussie Beef and Lamb brand has officially launched within the UK.
The Aussie Beef & Lamb brand is used by Australian red meat companies across export markets, representing beef, lamb, goat and veal. It is supported by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), a service provider to the red meat industry, funded by livestock transaction levies.
Stephen Edwards, UK business manager for the MLA, said that the Australian livestock industry is “brimming with tradition.” He explained: “We have a world-leading supply chain and an unspoiled environment in which to raise animals.
“This underpins Australia’s reputation for producing some of the finest beef and lamb, which we hope will complement the high-quality British red meat produced here in the UK during low season and in certain niche markets.”
MLA said that its aim for the ABL brand in the UK market is to service a percentage of the 400,000 tonnes of beef and 80,000 tonnes of sheep meat that is already imported into the UK from overseas countries each year. It further aims to complement domestic production and support supply for lower levels of seasonal production and certain cuts that see higher demand.
The UK currently imports around a third of its red meat from overseas from regions such as Eastern Europe, New Zealand and South America.
UK-Australia FTA: the story so far
Signed in November 2021, the agreement removed tariffs on over 99 per cent of the $9.2 billion Australian goods exported to the UK annually. In March 2023, it was estimated that the deal will also provide new access to the UK’s Government procurement market worth an estimated half a trillion dollars annually.
However, an impact report produced by the Department for International Trade (DIT) on the FTA shortly after its signing predicted that the British agriculture and semi-processed foods sectors will take a financial hit worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
It stated that overall output in the UK is estimated to increase, with services industries – particularly wholesale and retail, public services and business services – expected to make the largest contributions.
However, the report also stated that agriculture, forestry and fishing will see a reduction in gross added value (GVA) of 0.7% (£94 million) while semi-processed foods will take a 2.65% hit worth £225 million. Other processed foods are expected to see growth of 0.14% (£12 million).