New NFU red meat export strategy launched

27 April 2022

Livestock
Richard Findlay livestock board chair

The NFU livestock team has published a new Red Meat Export Strategy to help the British livestock sector unlock the potential of expanding international markets. Find out more about the key asks from government and how the global appetite for meat is not slowing down.

With government looking to expand it current trade deals following Brexit the NFU want British livestock farmers to be supported as they seek to expand into new markets and go toe to toe with some of the most export orientated producers on the planet.

NFU’s Red Meat Export Strategy key asks

The report focuses on the following:

  • Prioritising market development, achieving greater access for UK red meat across the globe, while safeguarding existing trade opportunities.
  • Investing in export promotion of Brand Britain and allowing UK exporters to capitalise on market access opportunities across the world.
  • Empowering the UK’s new Food and Drink Export Council to work in partnership with industry as the UK looks towards an ambitious expansion of its free trade agreement portfolio.
  • A commitment to improve the sector’s productivity and competitiveness, with initiatives that build export opportunities for UK beef and sheep meat.
  • Establishing and safeguarding our nation’s core environmental, animal health and welfare standards by not allowing domestic producers to be undercut by countries operating to standards that would be illegal here.

Read the full report

British beef is renowned across the world for its quality and the world-class environmental and animal welfare standards we produce it to.

Looking beyond traditional markets

Our climate and farming systems mean we are exceptionally good at producing delicious beef sustainably, and with the global appetite for high quality meat not slowing down, there is a huge opportunity to look beyond our traditional markets.

NFU Livestock Board Chair Richard Findlay said: “Cattle and sheep represent a cornerstone of our landscape management in the UK and an integral part of our stewardship of the British countryside. In the face of a new liberalised trade agenda, huge rises in input costs, and financial uncertainty surrounding the transition to a new domestic agricultural policy, Brand Britain needs a serious, long-term plan and investment in UK agriculture that will enable us to look beyond our traditional markets and maximise export potential.” 

Ensuring beef and lamb is at the heart of future plans

“The global appetite for meat is not slowing down. Driven by population growth and an increase in middle class diets, opportunities for beef and lamb around the world will continue to develop. There needs to be a coherent approach across government to bolster UK farming’s productivity and ensure that red meat is at the heart of any future export growth plans.”

Trade envoy visits Yorkshire beef farm

To mark the start of Great British Beef Week, three generations of beef farmers Stephen, Andrew and Ben Prescott hosted Graham Stuart MP, trade envoy for Vietnam, on their farm near Driffield.

Great British Beef Week is run by Ladies in Beef and joins with farmers, supermarkets, butchers, farm shops, pubs and restaurants to celebrate beef produced in Britain.

During the farm visit, they discussed the opportunities for high quality, climate-friendly British Beef at home and abroad.

They stressed that:

  • The industry is dealing with unsustainably high input costs, on top of existing supply chain challenges.
  • The government needs to prioritise home-grown food production
  • A level playing field is essential to enable UK farmers to compete with the greater influx of food imports expected under a liberalised trade agenda.
  • Increasing export markets could help boost farm business resilience.

NFU York East county chair Angela Kirkwood attended the event.

She said: “This was an important meeting given farming’s current challenges with costs of production, as well as the sector’s ambitions for expanding market access at home and overseas.

“There are big opportunities to export more British beef to Vietnam and other Asian countries, so was good to hear that, through his remit as trade envoy, he wants to help improve routes to interested markets abroad so farmers can sell what is a premium product at a premium value.”

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