British beef exports to China given boost
Plans to open exports of British beef to China have been given a boost following a successful visit by a delegation of Chinese officials to a beef farm and abattoir in Surrey, hosted by Defra and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
The visit highlighted the high levels of animal welfare and disease control measures in place in the UK and also included a meeting with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
China’s consumption of beef is said to have increased with a growing middle-income population. Last year the country imported a total of £1.5 billion worth, double the amount imported in 2014.
Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “The Chinese have always attached great importance to food safety and quality and we are flying the flag for our industry, renowned for its exceptional standards of welfare, quality and safety.
“I have just returned from China where appetite for our food and drink is huge and there are fantastic opportunities for our farmers and producers – with exports reaching £200 million for the first half of this year already,” she said.
“This visit from the Chinese delegation was a significant step towards opening the door for our world-class beef into this hugely lucrative market.”
AHDB Beef and Lamb head of global supply chain development, Phil Hadley, added: “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.”