The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has said, with anticipated growth in the global appetite for animal protein, exports of British red meat products have “never been more important”.

Delegates at its annual Red Meat Exports Conference heard about global trends and patterns in trade production, future risks and challenges and opportunities for halal.

AHDB said global demand for animal protein is growing, with worldwide pig meat, beef, and sheep meat consumption expected to increase by 11%, 10% and 15 % respectively by 2032.

UK red meat exports in 2023 were valued at £1.7 billion, equalling the record year in 2022.

AHDB chief executive Graham Wilkinson said: “The red meat sector should be rightly proud of what it can offer the global market and we have much to celebrate, not least with the value of red meat exports last year equalling the record set in 2022.

“AHDB has a critical role to play, working collaboratively with industry and other key stakeholders to ensure our exporters can capitalise on opportunities to sell their products in markets the world over.”

Wilkinson said since the launch of its Beyond Borders export strategy, AHDB has “delivered a raft of activity” to help ensure the opportunities for export of British red meat products are maximised globally.

“This has included coordinating inward and outward trade missions, inspection visits of UK sites, participating in international trade shows and working to support the opening of new markets,” he said.

“In doing so we have helped develop a broad portfolio of markets which is important to the trade for premium and variety meat, while offsetting risk.

Red meat

Wilkinson said AHDB’s work on the ground in-market also plays a pivotal role in establishing and maintaining positive trading relationships.

“The China Meat Association is a key partner with which AHDB has a long-standing relationship,” he said.

“We have been delighted to host an important delegation from China this week, showcasing our high-quality sustainably produced red meat products, culminating with their participation in our conference today.

“Red meat exports are vital in underpinning domestic prices and ensuring carcase balance.

“AHDB will continue to invest in export development, working with industry and other stakeholders to drive further growth on behalf of levy payers and build on the momentum that has delivered global success to date.”