Building on demand for Scotch beef in Far East

Building on demand for Scotch beef in Far East

Representatives of the Scottish beef industry have written to Secretary of State Owen Paterson MP seeking his assistance and support in reopening a potentially lucrative market for Scotch beef to Japan.

Recent successful UK and Scottish food trade missions to China, Japan and Hong Kong have identified that there is growing demand in the Far East for high quality food products, such as Scotch beef. However, the Japanese market has been closed to red meat exports from Europe since the BSE crisis.

It is widely reported that Japanese authorities have been in negotiations with some individual EU member states over reopening their markets to beef and Scottish beef farmers would be keen to see the UK actively engaged in a similar dialogue with Japan. Reopening a beef trade with Japan would follow similar recent success in having the beef ban to Russia lifted.

The letter, which was signed by NFU Scotland, National Beef Association, Scottish Beef Cattle Association, Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers and the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland, states that the growth of beef consumption in China and south-east Asia offers a golden opportunity for Scottish producers.

NFU Scotland’s Nigel Miller said: “Scotland has a fantastic story to tell on the quality and provenance of its food and drink and the prospect for beef farmers of tapping into Japanese demand for high quality products like whisky and salmon is mouth-watering.

“Here in the UK, we have some of the highest levels of traceability and safety in the world and that is backed up in Scotland by our unique farm assurance scheme and our Specially Selected Scotch Beef brand. We are well placed to capitalise on any export opportunity and we would be keen to hear from the Secretary of State on how best we can access these markets.

“DEFRA’s recent success in securing a lift on the ban on exports of British beef to Russia shows what can be achieved and we believe there would be merit in directing resources towards securing a similar export deal with Japan. As Scottish beef farmers, we offer our support to achieve this.”

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