Chinese inspectors delivered a vote of confidence in British beef standards, after touring a beef farm and abattoir in Surrey during a visit hosted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
Beef consumption in China has soared, with the value of imports totalling £1.5bn last year – double the amount imported in 2014. The nation’s growing middle-income population are increasingly demanding high quality cuts.
‘Renowned for its exceptional standards’
Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The Chinese have always attached great importance to food safety and quality and we are flying the flag for our industry, renowned for its exceptional standards of welfare, quality and safety.”
After visiting China earlier this week to meet businesses and government ministers to discuss increased trade opportunities for UK food and drink, Leadsom added the nation offered: “fantastic opportunities for our farmers and producers”. Exports had reached £200M for the first half of this year already.
‘Hugely lucrative market’
“This visit from the Chinese delegation was a significant step towards opening the door for our world-class beef into this hugely lucrative market,” said Leadsom.
AHDB Beef & Lamb head of global supply chain development Phil Hadley said: “This was a small but important step on the road to exports to China.
“It was a very good and worthwhile visit and the next steps have been agreed. We are at the beginning of a long road and it is going to take some time to negotiate the full opening of the market.”
The visit included a meeting with the Animal and Plant Health Agency and concluded with a meeting chaired by chief vet Nigel Gibbens.
Beef exports to China: the size of the prize
- New market potentially worth millions of pounds
- Beef consumption in China has soared, with the value of imports totalling £1.5bn last year
- 2015 beef imports were double the amount imported in 2014
- Exports to China reached £200M for the first half of this year