Double exports boost for livestock sector

A NEW trade agreement has opened the door to UK exports of beef to Singapore worth an estimated £10m a year to the UK economy, the Government has announced.

Singapore’s ban on UK beef, which was imposed following the identification of BSE in British cattle in the mid-1980s, has been lifted following an inspection from the country’s Agri-food Veterinary Authority (AVA) of three UK beef plants.

These beef producers and their sister plants will now be able to export cuts of deboned beef from cattle aged 30 months to the South East Asia republic.

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Other beef producers will be able to trade on the same terms, once the Food Standards Agency has confirmed they have met the necessary requirements set out in the trade agreement.

A Defra spokesperson said: “This deal is fantastic news for the UK beef industry, allowing them to grow their businesses by exporting to a lucrative market. We are working open markets across the globe to UK-made food and drink. The food and drink industry is the biggest manufacturing sector we have, and increasing exports will be a major boost to our economic recovery.”

Jonathan Eckley, export marketing executive at EBLEX, said: “We welcome the trade agreement with Singapore. Having access to another Asian market presents a great opportunity for the industry and Singapore is one of the markets we’ve been targeting because we believe there is strong demand there for quality grass-fed UK beef.”

A deal that will see Britain supply exports of pig semen for breeders in China from early in the new year was also announced this week.

The agreement, estimated to be worth up to £45m to the UK industry, came during a three-day visit to China by a British trade delegation headed by the Prime Minister.