China lifts ban on exports of British beef
A ban on the export of British beef to China has been lifted.
China has today 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 5 years alone.
More than 20 years after the Chinese government first imposed a ban on British beef in the wake of the BSE outbreak, today’s milestone is the culmination of several years of site inspections and negotiations between UK and Chinese government officials.
China is currently the UK’s eighth largest export market for agri-food, with over ￡560 million worth of food and drink bought by Chinese consumers last year.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
This is fantastic news for our world-class food and farming industry and shows we can be a truly outward looking Britain outside the European Union. It is the result of painstaking and collaborative work by industry and the Defra team over many years.
Today’s milestone will help to unlock UK agriculture’s full potential and is a major step to forging new trading relationships around the globe.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:
Today’s announcement is a huge coup for British businesses who want to access global trading opportunities as we leave the EU.
My international economic department has worked hard to secure agreement from our Chinese counterparts to access one of the largest global markets. This is a crucial step on our role in becoming a truly Global Britain.
The government, and its team of trade specialists, continues to encourage and support UK businesses as they consider launching into overseas markets or expanding their current global customer base.
Food exports from the UK continue to soar with record exports of over ￡22 billion in 2017. Our food and drink businesses are now selling their products to 217 markets.
Today’s announcement will allow official market access negotiations to begin, a process which typically takes around three years.
It follows the Prime Minister’s trade mission to China earlier this year, where she agreed new measures to improve market access to China.
It also follows a successful inspection visit in April 2018 hosted by Defra and the Animal Plant Health Agency, the Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland, DAERA, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the UK Export Certification Partnership.
AHDB International Market Development Director Dr Phil Hadley said:
We are delighted that China has lifted the ban on UK beef. This marks an important milestone in growing our meat exports to this all-important market.
Today’s news follows years of collaboration between AHDB, government and industry to make this a reality and we now look forward to seeing UK beef exported to the country for the first time in over 20 years. We will now begin the work on the export protocols and approvals to allow commercial shipments to begin.
China committing to being a better trading partner than America then?
They know how to play the game. They also don't need to "pander to" a large democratic electorate, which in some ways makes things easier.
The timing is not a coincidence. Frankly, i don't see why its a bad thing.
How udderley fantastic. The farmers will be over the moooooon
They deserve a pat on the back, they'll be milking this for a long time
Good to see we're able to beef up trade with China
They've also announced similar deals with France and Ireland. The power of the EU negotiating system is certainly something worth having.
Fantastic, if we replace all remoaners with cows then all our financial woes from brexit will be saved by our huge beef trade with China.
Chinese love British products, this could be great for our farmers the Chinese will pay a lot for products with the union flag on it.
Based on what?
They just see Brits as elite and our products in the Chinese mind show wealth and improve status amongst friendship group.
Why would they want our beef?
I'd take an American steak over British any day of the week, but it seems like the Chinese are starting to explore their options now that a trade war was declared on 'em
China is outside the customs union; any exported beef will rot before arriving.
You ever had an aged steak? Those things last a while...
It’s going to be frozen and sent by sea.
A reasonable ban and a reasonable timeframe for lifting it. Frankly it's not really newsworthy nor is it political.
Was it a reasonable time frame? What time frame did other countries use? Are some bans ongoing?
Yes. It's still not known what the incubation period is for BSE in humans. In fact it could be over 50 years. The fact that we've had no cases for a few years is some evidence that British beef is safe. But it's still not certain, and it's still perfectly reasonable to ban it and the methods that led to it.