Levy boards pursue international opportunities

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

UK looks to Mexico and New Zealand markets

Related tags Beef Lamb Pork

Trade boards from England, Scotland and Wales have been on the road looking at growing export markets.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) attended Mexico’s largest international food and drink fair this week to look at developing new export opportunities.

It exhibited at the Expo ANTAD & Alimentaria Mexico joining more than 340 international food and beverage companies from 28 countries.

AHDB’s export manager for livestock Susana Morris said: “This show provided AHDB with a fantastic opportunity to promote our high quality products while looking at consumer trends to see what potential there is for exporters in the UK.

“Mexico has the potential to act as a springboard into the wider region as well as being an attractive market in its own right. We do not currently export to Mexico but this is a country that is open and ready to do business.”

Mexico is a big importer of pork despite the fact the country reported one of the biggest rates of growth in pork production in 2017. However, it does not have enough supply to satisfy its own demand.

Morris added: “It is estimated the country will consume two million tonnes of pork this year so it’s a market we cannot afford to overlook. During our visit, we met with potential importers, gained a better insight into favoured cuts and explored where our products would be best suited in this lucrative and all-important market.”

Meanwhile, a delegation from the red meat levy boards in England, Scotland and Wales, are heading to New Zealand as part of a fact-finding exchange between the two countries.

Delegates including representatives from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC).

The visit, which has been funded by the UK and New Zealand governments, will facilitate the exchange of knowledge between industry and government, enhance relationships, create new opportunities for collaboration, and provide insights to support future agricultural production and export ambitions.

Phil Hadley, AHDB international market development director, said: “While the implications of Brexit for both agricultural support and trade are still not clear, we do know that the sheep sector is particularly vulnerable as we move towards leaving the EU.

 “This visit will enable UK representatives to learn some valuable lessons from their New Zealand counterparts and help the industry become more resilient to future challenges.”

Alan Clarke, chief executive of QMS, said: “Next week’s visit presents an opportunity to gain an exceptional first-hand insight into the New Zealand lamb industry and I am confident the insights we return with will be of significant value to our industry. Sincere thanks go to the UK and New Zealand Governments for funding the visit and to the New Zealand red meat industry for hosting.”

Kevin Roberts, HCC chairman, added: "This is a good opportunity to share information on the future of the global sheep industry."

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