Environment secretary meets industry chiefs to explore new markets for meat
Today, environment secretary Elizabeth Truss met with representatives from the International Meat Trade Association (IMTA) to explore new markets to meet growing demands for British meat.
She welcomed the growing global appetite for British meat which last year generated £1.27 billion to the UK economy.
As part of a tour of London’s Smithfield Market, she discussed the upcoming Great British Food Unit which will provide practical help and expertise, particularly for producers trying to gain access to new markets for the first time.
The Government has already made it easier for food producers and farmers to export by bringing in a 24-hour turnaround time for export health certificates, speeding up the process of exporting British products abroad.
Alongside this, the latest statistics highlight the growing appetite of British meat around the world:
• Demand for the UK’s chicken, pork, beef, veal and lamb has boosted total meat exports over the last four years by 20%, from just over £1 billion in 2010 to £1.27 billion last year.
• Exports of pork to China have rocketed since the UK Government opened up trade agreements in 2012. Five years ago, this was worth £1 million a year – now the UK exports £31 million of pork to China a year.
• Chicken and other poultry is proving popular outside of the EU, mostly due to exports to South Africa which increased from £5 million in 2010 to £36 million in 2014.
Truss said: “2016 is the Year of Great British Food and we will be taking every opportunity to showcase British food around the world. Opening new export markets is a central part of our ambition for UK food and farming to lead the world.
“I look forward to working with industry to make the most of new markets overseas to ensure all food producers, large and small, can make the most of these opportunities attracting more business and growing jobs across the country.”
By working in partnership with industry, the Government will maximise export growth by: using industry and Government data to identify and target key markets for export growth that delivers biggest benefit to UK industry, developing business cases for new markets to ensure resources are targeted at best/highest value opportunities, working with industry and representative bodies to ensure that opportunities are capitalised on once market access is secured and developing products to meet specific demand in key markets to build UK market share.