UK ‘corners’ the EU lamb market, claims Eblex

The UK has cornered the lamb and mutton export market, and is the only EU member making money out of it, according to Jean-Pierre Garnier, Eblex export manager.

Speaking at the Eblex Halal Seminar in Warwickshire, Garnier hailed the success of the sector, while telling delegates that great opportunity also exists for halal lamb and mutton exports.

He said: “We export 40% of our production, that’s a record. We are the only production sector in the EU making money producing lamb, that’s great for the future; we’ve cornered the market.

“Of all the lamb produced in Europe, 43% is produced here in the UK. And in the next few years it will go up again, from 43 to 45%; Spain is falling, Greece is falling, Italy is falling, France is falling. We are the only people growing lamb production. That’s because we are the best farmers, we’ve got the best structure and the best processors. We are the best at that job, and we’re going to corner the market in years to come.”

Addressing potential for halal products, Garnier said there was great opportunity in China, where there is a large Muslim community in Beijing. He also told delegates that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were expected to open to UK lamb in the near future, which are large potential markets.

Garnier added: “The export of halal is very important to Eblex, important to this industry; it’s a big part of what we do. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, it’s a big, big market.”

While he explained that there were difficulties for market access in some areas, for example south-east Asia, the UK has a target market for lamb of 15.4 million Muslims in Europe, and therefore great opportunity.

Garnier said: “It’s a huge market for us to tap into, so we don’t necessarily need to go all around the world, because round the corner here we have this target market, there’s plenty to do there for all of us. Our biggest problem is ourselves; very often we shoot ourselves in the foot by competing too much with each other.”

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