China has lifted its longstanding ban on exports of beef from the UK, in a landmark move for British producers estimated to be worth £250 million in the first five years alone.
The milestone is the culmination of several years of site inspections and negotiations between UK and Chinese government officials. It allows official market access negotiations to begin, a process which typically takes around three years.
NFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay said:
“This is clearly very positive news for British beef producers, who now have the opportunity to supply one of the biggest markets in the world.
“However, we have to remember this announcement is the start of negotiations to secure access to the demanding Chinese market. The NFU will support and work with government, AHDB and industry to deliver access for the beef sector as soon as practically possible.
“British beef is produced to some of the highest production and animal welfare standards in the world and as we look ahead to life outside of the EU, this is an important step to taking the British brand to new markets.”