New export market opens for UK beef

A new export deal worth £34 million will soon see UK beef on dinner plates and restaurant menus across the Philippines, Food Minister George Eustice announced today.

Beef reared in the UK, already worth more than £350 million in global exports each year, will now join pork, poultry, lamb and dairy on the list of UK food and drink shipped to the Philippines.

Market access for beef was withdrawn in 1996 due to BSE concerns and the ban was lifted in 2001. This latest deal, estimated to be worth £34 million over the next five years, follows a visit from a delegation of inspectors from the Philippines last year.

Hosted by Defra and the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), the deal was awarded when inspectors saw first-hand the UK’s high animal welfare and food safety standards.

Food Minister George Eustice said: “Securing market access for our world-class beef to the Philippines is a huge vote of confidence for a sector that already exports more than £350 million around the world, including Hong Kong and Canada.

“The UK beef industry is the envy of the world and this strong demand globally for our traditional breeds reared to the highest welfare standards is what drives our exports and creates opportunities for our farmers.”

Defra and AHDB worked with UKECP, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), DAERA in Northern Ireland, the Food Standards Agency, the Scottish and Welsh Governments and the other UK levy boards to secure the deal.

Dr Phil Hadley, AHDB’s International Market development director, said: “We are delighted the Philippines has approved UK beef exports, a market we already export pork to. The decision indicates future expansion for UK agriculture and our growing export markets globally.”

The Philippines is the largest food and drink market in south east Asia with meat consumption expected to grow by ten per cent over the next five years.

The country first opened its doors to UK pork more than a decade ago, with the UK’s market share increasing substantially over that period. UK pork shipments grew four times between 2015 and 2016, with pork offal shipments rising by 40 per cent in the same period.

The taste for UK dairy has also increased, with UK cheese sales more than tripling between 2015 and 2016 with a 37 per cent expected growth by 2025, likely due to low import tariffs.

Dr Hadley added: “This decision enhances an exciting 12 months for UK red meat exports, with wider markets opening in Hong Kong last July and a Japanese government delegation investigating beef production controls just last month. All-in-all it paints a very positive picture for UK exports for the future.”

This Government is committed to driving exports for UK produce. Defra’s Food is GREAT campaign plays a key role in this, driving the demand for UK produce around the world and increasing positive public perception of our food and drink.

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About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.