British meat firms preparing for US exports

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

UK meat exporters trained in US regulation (Flickr/Ernesto Andrade)
UK meat exporters trained in US regulation (Flickr/Ernesto Andrade)
UK meat exporters are preparing to break into the lucrative US market, after receiving training on US beef and lamb import regulations last week, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) revealed.

The UK was in a “good position”​ to ensure UK-US beef and lamb trade goes ahead, the AHDB said, after the exporters were trained in Washington DC. UK exporters’ ability to adhere to US import regulations would be assessed this year.

Exporters were trained in Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspection requirements, port of entry requirements and how to test for Shiga toxin-producing E.coli​ (STEC). They were also trained in overcoming other challenges facing exporting into the US market.

‘UK and US regulatory requirements’

AHDB Beef & Lamb head of global supply chain development Phil Hadley said: “The industry representatives found the visit very worthwhile, and the preliminary training puts us in a good position to ensure that we are able to agree equivalence between UK and US regulatory requirements when the inspection visit takes place.

“The dynamic US market offers significant opportunities for UK beef and lamb at a time when it’s particularly important for us to develop new markets, alongside ensuring we maintain demand in existing markets.”

AHDB Beef & Lamb worked with Hybu Cig Cymru, Quality Meat Scotland, Livestock & Meat Commission Northern Ireland and the British Embassy in the US to organise the training.

‘Business all around the globe’

The training took place days before Prime Minister Theresa May revealed (on January 17) that the UK would be leaving the EU’s Single Market​ of 500M consumers. It was time for the UK to “get out into the wider world – to trade and do business all around the globe”​, she said.

Meanwhile, British beef exports to China – potentially worth millions of pounds – moved a step closer in November, after the AHDB hosted Chinese inspectors​ at a Surrey beef farm and abattoir. Chinese demand for beef is growing as the population becomes more affluent, with imports being valued at £1.5bn in 2015 – double the amount imported in 2014.

UK-US beef and lamb trade – at a glance

  • UK meat exporters trained in US import regulation
  • Official inspection of UK meat exports expected this year
  • UK in “good position”​ ahead of inspection

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