US meat seeks more UK access

US meat exporters have appointed a new regional director in a bid to gain greater recognition in the UK and European market.

John Brook, a veteran of more than 21 years in the meat industry, has stepped into the role to oversea the US Meat Exporters Federation's (USMEF) interests in the UK, European, Russian and Middle Eastern markets.

"There's a real opportunity coming along now for a big increase in activity between the US and EU," said Brook. "The EU is a very large net importer of beef and it is likely the deficit is only going to increase over the next five years."

He pointed to the growing amount of US production under the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Programmes and the recent positive discussions between the US and the EU on access to the market. He said the US industry was now expecting improved access and increased quotas for beef.

The UK is one of the biggest importers within the EU, he added, and would therefore be a big target for the US, but the challenge, moving forward, was to raise the profile of US beef.

"As the level of business is very small, there's a big role in informing people and making them aware that there's a possibility of sourcing meat from the US."

Brook will be opening an office for the USMEF in Brussels, enabling it to be near the European Commission to maintain the profile of the industry and push for increased access.