Paterson leads delegation to Hong Kong

The Secretary of State Owen Paterson is to lead a delegation from the British beef industry to Hong Kong next week to further push the “normalisation” of trade with the UK.

A highlight of the trade trip will be a reception at the Hong Kong Jockey Club on 16 November to celebrate the historic agreement made earlier this year, allowing greater meat trade between the nations, as well as to showcase British beef to potential importers.

The agreement was signed earlier in the year and is now translating into sales on the ground, with much of it in the hotel and foodservice sector. Boneless beef from cattle of all ages is already exported there. The import of ground boneless beef, excluding offal from cattle less than 30 months old, resumed in June 2009, after exports from the UK were banned in 1996.
Head of trade development at Eblex Peter Hardwick said: “This reception is an acknowledgment of the level of co-operation we have received from the Hong Kong authorities, the first destination in the Far East to make such a move.
“It is also about connecting potential importers in Hong Kong with our industry and showcasing the quality beef we produce here in Britain.
“Our ultimate aim is the normalisation of the beef trade between Britain and Hong Kong, and this is an important step. The Secretary of State leading the delegation is an indicator of how much we value the support we have had from the Hong Kong authorities and the importance we attribute to this market.”
During the visit, the Secretary of State will meet Hong Kong officials involved in the negotiations and learn more about the market potential in Hong Kong. There are significant additional opportunities, for instance in fifth-quarter products, if trade in additional cuts can be licensed.
On his way to Hong Kong, the Secretary of State will attend the FHC Food and Drink event show in Shanghai to support British food exports.


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