British beef to enter Chinese market by end of 2019

£230m boost for British beef as China agrees market access
£230m boost for British beef as China agrees market access

An agreement has been reached between China and the UK to secure access for British beef exporters by the end of 2019.

The move could be worth an estimated £230 million for British producers in the first five years alone.

It comes more than 20 years after the Chinese government imposed a ban on UK imports of beef in 1996.

The UK-China Beef Protocol was signed this week by Farming Minister Robert Goodwill and the Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming.

The move is part of the tenth Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) between the UK and China, securing market access for UK beef exporters by the end of 2019.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said the agreement is 'welcome progress' for British beef producers.

“This comes as a result of years of hard work across government, including at the Department for International Trade, and marks the next step in realising our global trading ambitions with unbeatable British food.

“As we leave the European Union, we will continue to break down market access barriers to make it easier for UK businesses to trade across the world,” Dr Fox said.

Farming Minister Robert Goodwill said the announcement is a 'major coup' for the farming industry.

The UK-China Beef Protocol is the culmination of several years of site inspections and engagement between UK and Chinese government officials.

China’s ban was lifted in June last year when market access engagement for UK beef exports began.

The country is currently the UK’s eighth largest export market for food and drink, with more than £610 million worth of products bought by Chinese consumers last year.

It comes after China recently approved five British pork plants to export products, which will build on a market already worth £70 million per year.

The UK’s food exports continue to soar, with food and drink exports worth more than £22 billion last year.