UK zeros in on meat export targets

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

The UK aims to find markets for all parts of the carcase to sustain supply lines
The UK aims to find markets for all parts of the carcase to sustain supply lines

Related tags Bovine spongiform encephalopathy Beef Lamb Pork

UK meat suppliers are closing on export deals with South Korea and Taiwan and building trade with the US, Japan and Mauritius after announcing a £34m agreement with the Philippines, according to levy body the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

South Korea, the US and Taiwan are running inspection visits, and there is ongoing positive dialogue with the Far East​,” Phil Hadley, AHDB international market development director, told GlobalMeatNews​.

That was in addition to a delegation from Japan inspecting beef controls in July and the development of trade in high-quality, restaurant-style cuts with Mauritius, he said.

For Taiwan, the UK was looking at selling a broad range of pork products, from the commodity end to high-quality, bone-in cuts, said Hadley. “There’s an inspection visit in October. We would hope to reach an agreement in 2018​.”

All parts of carcase

Broadly speaking, the UK’s objective was to find the best markets for all parts of the carcase, to avoid waste, maximise profit and sustain supply lines, he said.

We might be great at selling a product to a particular country, but if there are currency fluctuations or a political dispute, then we have to have a plan B and possibly a plan C​. Taiwan is a target in the coming months. We are hopeful of moving forward on ambitions for US and China beef in 2018​.”

AHDB reported 16 UK companies promoting beef, lamb and pork had individual booths under its umbrella at the Anuga show in Cologne, Germany last week.

PGI scheme

Karl Pendlebury from Meat South West, the organisation behind a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) scheme for beef and lamb from Cornwall and Devon, said: “We’ve seen the West Country PGI gain real momentum on the domestic market in recent months, with an upsurge in membership following increased communication around the scheme. The timing therefore felt right to dip a toe in the water as far as export markets are concerned.

“The response at Anuga was extremely positive, with interest from a range of businesses, including restaurants and retailers from a number of European countries, who appreciate the opportunity provided by the West Country PGI to really differentiate their products.”

Hadley said: “With Brexit around the corner, opening new export markets and developing existing ones for quality beef, lamb and pork is an essential part of our strategy.

“Participating in major shows is key to achieving this and Anuga exceeded our expectations in terms of both the number of visitors and the engagement with our stand.”


In August, the UK announced it had signed a beef export deal with the Philippines​ worth an estimated £34m over the next five years. The market had barred access to UK beef since 1996, after the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis.

The decision to grant access only came after the visit of a Philippine delegation last year. AHDB was instrumental in brokering the deal in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and its counterpart in Northern Ireland, the UK Export Certification Partnership, the Animal & Plant Health Agency, the Food Standards Agency, the Scottish & Welsh Governments and other UK levy boards.

William Reed is organising a Food Export Conference in the UK on 8 February 2018. Hadley is speaking at the event. Other speakers include Michael Bell, executive director of the Northern Ireland Food & Drink Association, and IGD chief economist James Walton. For more information, and to book a place, click here​.

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