UK and Philippines sign £34m beef trade deal

UK beef exports generate more than £350m every year for the British economy

The UK and the Philippines have signed a beef export deal worth £34 million over the next five years.

Great Britain’s access to this market has been closed since 1996 dues to concerns over bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and although the ban was lifted in 2001, the decision to grant access only came after a Philippine delegation visit to the country last year.

On the UK side, the deal was brokered by Defra and UK levy board AHDB, UKECP, the Animal and Plant Health Agency, DAERA in Northern Ireland, the Food Standards Agency, the Scottish and Welsh Governments and other UK levy boards.

In the Philippines meat consumption expected to grow by 10% over the next five years and UK pork has already seen some success in the region, growing pork offal shipments by 40% between 2015 and 2016.

On announcing the deal, Defra minister of state George Eustice said: “Securing market access for our world-class beef to the Philippines is a huge vote of confidence for a sector that already exports more than £350 million around the world, including Hong Kong and Canada.

The UK beef industry is the envy of the world and this strong demand globally for our traditional breeds reared to the highest welfare standards is what drives our exports and creates opportunities for our farmers.

Dr Phil Hadley, AHDB’s international market development director, said: “We are delighted the Philippines has approved UK beef exports, a market we already export pork to. The decision indicates future expansion for UK agriculture and our growing export markets globally.

This decision enhances an exciting 12 months for UK red meat exports, with wider markets opening in Hong Kong last July and a Japanese government delegation investigating beef production controls just last month. All-in-all it paints a very positive picture for UK exports for the future.

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