Following China’s decision to lift its ban on UK beef for the first time in 20 years over concerns of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) amongst cattle, Japanese officials conducted a five-day visit to gain knowledge on UK food safety controls.
The officials also learned about animal passports, export health certification and food controls.
The visit was hosted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), as well as other key meat bodies and organisations such as the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
Following the five-day mission, the organisations hope UK beef and sheep meat can gain approval for export to Japan.
“This visit represents another important step in reopening this lucrative market which has the potential to create some exciting opportunities for our beef and sheep producers here in the UK,” said AHDB’s international market development director Phil Hadley.
“We will continue to work collaboratively with the government and industry over the coming months to gain market access to Japan, building on an incredibly successful year for our UK meat exports.”
Japan, last week, allowed access for US lamb after a lengthy absence.
AHDB has conducted similar visits for other meat markets in recent months, including government officials from the Ukraine who learned about meat hygiene controls and food traceability.