UK signs £34 million beef export deal with Philippines

The UK has signed a beef export deal with the Philippines worth £34 million (m) over the next five years.

Access to this market had been closed since 1996 due to concerns over bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and although the ban was lifted in 2001, the decision to grant access only came after a Philippine delegation visited last year.

On the UK side, the deal was brokered by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP), the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Northern Ireland’s Department for Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the Food Standards Agency, the Scottish and Welsh governments and other UK levy boards.

Meat consumption is expected to grow by 10% over the next five years in the Philippines. UK pork has already seen some success in the region, increasing pork offal shipments by 40% between 2015 and 2016.

Announcing the deal, food minister George Eustice said: “Securing market access for our world-class beef to the Philippines is a huge vote of confidence for a sector that already exports more than £350m around the world, including Hong Kong and Canada.

“The UK beef industry is the envy of the world and this strong demand globally for our traditional breeds, reared to the highest welfare standards, is what drives our exports and creates opportunities for our farmers.”

Dr Phil Hadley, AHDB’s international market development director, said: “We are delighted the Philippines has approved UK beef exports, a market we already export pork to. The decision indicates future expansion for UK agriculture and our growing export markets globally.

“This decision enhances an exciting 12 months for UK red meat exports, with wider markets opening in Hong Kong last July and a Japanese government delegation investigating beef production controls just last month. All in all, it paints a very positive picture for UK exports for the future.”

Last month, the UK welcomed a delegation from Japan to inspect beef controls which was described by Hadley as “positive”.

William Reed brands Meat Trades Journal, British Baker and Food Manufacture are organising a Food Export Conference on 5 October at the Ardencote Hotel in Warwick. Speakers include the AHDB's Phil Hadley; Cranswick export director Ed Wright; Andy Richardson, chair, Food & Drink Wales Industry Board; and Tony Lamb, head of the food and drink team, Department for International Trade.

Prospective delegates and sponsors should visit foodexportconference.co.uk for more information.

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