UK beef given green light from Singapore
UK beef has been given the green light to enter Singapore, in an a new trade deal estimated to be worth an annual £10m to the UK economy.
Singapore banned UK beef imports following the BSE crisis in the late 1990s. However, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced the lifting of the ban this week (3 December), after Singapore’s Agri-food Veterinary Authority (AVA) inspected three UK plants.
The three plants approved by the authorities are WD Meats, Coleraine, Northern Ireland; Dovecote Park in Yorkshire; and Dunbia Sawley, Lancashire. “These beef producers and their sister plants will now be able to export cuts of deboned beef from cattle aged 30 months to Singapore,” Defra said.
Upon meeting the necessary requirements set out in the trade agreement, Defra said other producers would also be able to trade with Singapore, once the Food Standards Agency had confirmed said requirements were met.
A Defra spokesperson told MeatInfo.co.uk that negations with Singapore for beef exports from the UK had been going on since 2009/10, and that Defra Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, was working across the world to open up trade barriers.
“This deal is fantastic news for the UK beef industry, allowing them to grow their businesses by exporting to a lucrative market. We are working open markets across the globe to UK-made food and drink. The food and drink industry is the biggest manufacturing sector we have, and increasing exports will be a major boost to our economic recovery,” the spokesperson added.
Jonathan Eckley, Eblex export marketing executive, said: “We welcome the trade agreement with Singapore. It is one of the markets we’ve been targeting because we believe there is strong demand there for UK beef.
“Future target markets for beef exports include Japan, Taiwan and, of course, China. It must be remembered, however, that gaining market access does not happen overnight and takes time to bring to fruition.”
Similar talks are ongoing with Russia at the moment, while the UK has recently increased beef exports to Hong Kong.
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