Beef and lamb production controls have been inspected by government officials from Japan this week as part of ongoing moves to reopen the market on UK exports.
A delegation from the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare toured abattoirs across the country to learn more about the food hygiene controls in the UK – more than 20 years since BSE.
The five-day mission hosted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) included meetings to discuss food controls, animal passports and export health certification.
It forms part of ongoing work between Defra, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) and government organisations APHA, FSA, UKECP and DAERA, to gain approval of beef and sheep meat exports to Japan.
AHDB’s International Market development director Dr Phil Hadley said: “This visit represents another important step in reopening this lucrative market which has the potential to create some exciting opportunities for our beef and sheep producers here in the UK.
“These inspections come just weeks after China agreed to lift the longstanding ban on UK beef – which is a major boost for UK farmers and producers as well as our global reputation for high quality and welfare.
“We will continue to work collaboratively with government and industry over the coming months to gain market access to Japan, building on an incredibly successful year for our UK meat exports.”