UK offal exports on the rise

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Offal imports to Africa increased after a trade visit from AHDB Beef & Lamb
Offal imports to Africa increased after a trade visit from AHDB Beef & Lamb

Related tags International trade Beef Lamb

UK levy board AHDB Beef & Lamb has said its strategy to shift from exporting carcases to offal has been rewarded, as global trade of the latter rose by 8% last year.

Full-year export figures for 2015 show British exports of beef offal were up 8.1% in volume terms compared to 2014. Exports of sheep offal also rose by 36% in 2015, enjoying a huge surge in growth from outside the EU, according to data from AHDB Beef & Lamb.

The UK and European markets for offal may be small, but the country is finding ways to maximise value per animal as exports of offal to non-EU markets rose by 26% in 2015.

AHDB Beef & Lamb said a recent trade missions to South Africa and the Ivory Coast, in 2012 and 2013 respectively, were followed by a significant increase in the volume of beef offal exported to these markets.

‘Challenging year’

The examples of both South Africa and the Ivory Coast clearly demonstrate the success of our approach in adding value to the beef and lamb sector,​” said Jean-Pierre Garnier export manager for AHDB Beef & Lamb.“Our ambition is to continue building on these successes and to continue to add value to the sector through our export development world as we move forwards in 2016 and beyond.​”

UK exports of beef cuts also recorded solid strong growth in overseas trade when compared to trading figures from 2014. This, the UK levy board said, had validated its strategy to move away from selling whole beef carcases to focus on shipments of beef cuts and offal.

Strategy bearing fruit

Beef cuts accounted for 86% (86,000t) of UK beef exports last year. A year before that, in 2014, beef cuts amounted to 75% (84,448t) of exports internationally. By placing more emphasis on the sale of beef cuts, AHDB said this had added extra value to the carcase and had helped the UK maximise returns throughout its supply chain.

It’s encouraging to see the strong performance of cuts and offal in what was undoubtedly a challenging year for exports of beef and lamb,​” according to Garnier. “Our long-term strategy of moving towards adding value to the sector with a focus on the export of cuts rather than carcases is bearing fruit, as is our commitment to cultivating markets for offals, which have limited value and appeal domestically.​”

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