A Chinese delegation has arrived in the UK this week to carry out inspections as part of the ongoing process to lift the BSE ban on British beef exports.
Five members of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) arrived on Sunday as part of a nine-day visit to look at the country’s BSE controls.
Hosted by DEFRA and working closely with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), FSA, APHA, UKECP and devolved Government departments and levy boards, the delegation is visiting farms, abattoirs, a BSE testing laboratory and rendering sites as well as meeting with key UK government officials.
The inspections mark a major step forward in the process to open the Chinese market to British beef for the first time in over 20 years – which could be worth £250 million in the first five years.
AHDB international market development director Dr Phil Hadley said this week’s visit follows years of collaboration across industry and government to gain market access.
“This is an important next step in our ambitions to export high quality British beef to the growing Chinese market,” he added. “Unlocking access to China will bring huge benefits to beef producers here in the UK.
“It is still an ongoing process with much more work to be done, but AHDB will continue to work with others and play a key role in this process to help steer discussions as we move forward.”
Agreements were reached in 2012 to export pork from the UK to China, with exports rising in value to £74 million in 2016. The UK also has approval to export malting barley used in brewing to China, as it has quality advantages over other nations, as well as dairy products.