Meat exporters look to government for support

Government support is required if the UK is going to gain access to the lucrative Chinese markets for its beef and lamb.

A request for support was given to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson during a roundtable at the Anuga Trade Fair in Cologne recently.

The roundtable, organised by Eblex, saw representatives of many of the major UK meat processing companies sit down with Paterson, as well as representatives of Defra and UKTI, and the UK levy bodies.

He was told that while opening up the Chinese market was a long process, it now required UK engagement with the Chinese authorities at the highest level, if any progress was to be made.

Paterson said: UK farmers produce some of the best-quality meat anywhere in the world. Its reputation has helped boost our food and drink exports by nearly 50% over the past decade.

I want to work with the industry to open up more trade and tap into emerging markets, which is why Ive just launched the International Export Action Plan. I also plan to visit China in November to increase trade for UK meat.

AHDB chairman John Godfrey said: It is very reassuring to see the high level of both interest and expertise the Environment Secretary has in the export arena and the fact that he spent two days at Anuga is testament to this.