Government keen to build export market

The industry should turn to the government for help in accessing new overseas markets, according to Agriculture Minister Jim Paice.

Speaking at the AHDB Red Tractor dinner at the Cologne Alter Wartesaal earlier this week, Paice told exporters and other key industry figures that the government is keen to help the meat sector grasp global opportunities and expand into new markets.

“If there are issues you think the government can help with, then talk to us. If there are problems accessing markets, then tell us about it and if it’s at all possible for us to do something about it, then we will.”
He pointed out that the Prime Minister put beef and lamb on the agenda during his recent visit to Russia. “Much of the responsibility for opening up that market will now fall to industry to meet those Russian requirements,” he said. He promised that the government would also do what they could to enable UK companies to expand into China and North America.

Praising the work of the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP), of which Eblex is a partner, for helping drive the 40% increase in beef exports this year, Paice said he thought that the UK meat industry had a “strong” export story.

“That partnership has opened almost 30 markets to UK beef in less than two years. This demonstrates that we have largely put the BSE crisis behind us and have probably become the world’s experts in how to deal with it.”

He commended the meat industry for its commitment, enthusiasm and willingness to drive businesses forward, and recognised the high animal welfare standards at the heart of the UK meat industry, saying that it is something the industry should be proud of.

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