UK-Philippines trade deal welcomed by Scotland

The new multi-million beef export deal between the UK and the Philippines has been labelled as “excellent news for the Scottish red meat industry”. 

The now-open market, which was achieved due to a collaboration of industry bodies, is worth £34 million (m) over the next five years. Over that period, consumption of meat is expected to increase 10% in the country.

“The Philippines are a priority market for Scotch Beef PGI, which has earned a global reputation for quality underpinned by one of the longest-running quality assurance schemes in the world,” said Alan Clarke, chief executive of QMS.

“The deal announced could also offer great potential in terms of maximising returns from the whole carcase.”

Yesterday’s announcement marks the first time the UK has been granted access to the market since 1996 following concerns over bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Though the ban was lifted in 2001, market access was only granted after a delegation from the Philippines visited the UK last year.

Moving forward, Clarke said there were other emerging markets that the Scottish industry intended to target. “We have also been working hard with other trade partners, such as Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Development International and the UK Export Certificate Partnership to open key markets such as the US, China and Japan, which also offer exciting opportunities for the future,” he explained.

The Scottish red meat body consistently works to promote the Protected Geographical Indication status of Scotch Beef and Lamb overseas at expos and industry events. Food and drink exports grew by £421m in 2016 to a record of £5.5bn. This is an 8% increase in the value of exports from Scotland’s food and drink sector.

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