‘We welcome this opportunity to be able to export beef to the US’ – NFU

UK beef is on its way to the US for the first time in more than 20 years after three processing sites were given the go-ahead to export.

UK beef has been banned in the US following the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) outbreak back in 1996, but in March this year it was once again granted access to the US market.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) estimates this deal to be worth £66 million over the next five years.

The National Farmer’s Union (NFU) livestock board chairman Richard Findlay commented on the access, saying:

We welcome this opportunity to be able to export beef to the US after a ban of more than 20 years. Access to new markets is great news for UK livestock farmers who now have the opportunity to supply one of the biggest markets in the world.

“In the UK we are very proud to produce some of the most climate-friendly and traceable beef in the world, produced to incredibly high welfare standards.

“We look forward to building on this announcement, securing more exciting opportunities to supply high-quality, fully traceable and environmentally sustainable beef to consumers both at home and abroad.”

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) international market development director Dr. Phil Hadley said:

“We are delighted to see the first shipments of beef being prepared for the US for the first time in more than 20 years, representing an historic moment for UK farmers and producers.

We are rightly proud of our industry, which has a reputation for producing high-quality beef to some of the best welfare standards in the world.

“The US represents an important potential market for our red meat exports and this development is the result of the hard work and persistence of industry and government to bring about this crucial next step.

“This important milestone will bring a fantastic boost to the sector and we look forward to seeing more of our red meat served up on dinner tables across the US in the months and years to come.”