Export boost from EBLEX

An additional £380,000 of EBLEX levy funding is being invested in export activity this year to capitalise on the growing demand for quality beef and lamb overseas.

UK exports to EU countries were up 17% for beef and nearly 8% for lamb during the first four months of 2008, helped by the strength of the Euro making prices competitive. Lamb exports to France in the first quarter of 2008 were up by 3% on the same period in 2007.

The additional funding - which is being drawn down from reserves - was agreed by the EBLEX board to provide the export team with additional flexibility to build on the current programme of activity. This will help ensure the industry is in the best possible position to capitalise on the export opportunities available. The decision takes current EBLEX levy funding investment in exports to £1.1 million for 2008/09.

Peter Hardwick, EBLEX international manager said: "Without a doubt, last year was a challenging one for exports, as certain elements of the EBLEX promotional programme had to be put on hold as a result of foot-and-mouth.

"As a result, EBLEX focused on maintaining good working relationships with wholesalers and overseas retailers - and that approach is now paying off, as demand for quality lamb and beef has grown rapidly.

"The additional funding will allow EBLEX to build both on its existing PR and advertising programme for 2008/09 and our long-standing project to encourage exporters to develop overseas markets for the fifth quarter."

EBLEX is focusing on highlighting the year-round availability of quality lamb to a range of overseas buyers. Important work is also ongoing on promoting prime matured beef as a premium product to the higher-value foodservice markets in countries such as Italy, France, Belgium and Spain.

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