UK beef to be served on US plates for first time in over 20 years.
The first shipments of UK beef have departed for the USA this week, marking an historic moment for UK farmers and food producers.
Following the USA’s longstanding ban on EU beef – introduced in the wake of the BSE outbreak in 1996 – market access for UK beef was granted in March 2020. Welsh beef producers now have access to the US market for the first time in over 20 years.
Today’s news means the sector can now begin to reap the economic benefits of trade with the US – with industry estimating beef exports will be worth £66 million over the next five years.
The first four UK food businesses, based in Wales and Northern Ireland, have now been officially listed by the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service as eligible to export UK beef to the USA. Businesses include Merthyr Tydfil based Kepak Group Limited which can now start production and export of UK beef for US consumers. It is expected that in the coming months, more food businesses across Wales and the rest of the UK will be able to take advantage of this exciting new export opportunity.
The first shipment of beef originating from Foyle Food Group, Foyle Campsie in Northern Ireland is to be dispatched to the USA today, with further shipments from across the UK expected to commence in the coming weeks.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said:
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said:
As one of the world leaders for animal welfare standards, UK beef is globally recognised for its provenance, quality and traceability. Through the Food is GREAT campaign, the UK government aims to raise the international profile and reputation of food and drink from across the UK and help more food and drink companies export their produce abroad.
AHDB International Market Development Director Dr Phil Hadley said:
Karen Pierce, British Ambassador to the USA, said:
The US Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Audit Report, a crucial step leading to British exporters being able to sell to the US, was published in March 2020, and confirmed that UK meat hygiene systems and controls are of a suitable, equivalent standard for products to be imported to the USA. The report noted that the whole of the UK meets the US’s production requirements, therefore beef from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is eligible for exports.
Prior to this announcement, FSIS inspected multiple premises across the UK between July-August 2019. This inspection visit had in turn been preceded by years of numerous market access and technical discussions between the USA and the UK.
These inspections were led by Defra group and the UK Export Certification Partnership and hosted by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), in partnership with Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales HCC) and other industry bodies, as well as UK national and Devolved Government Departments and Agencies.