Good news for Welsh farmers who could see their beef served on Chinese dinner plates by the end of the year.
Welsh exporters are set to benefit from a multi million pound boost as China agrees market access for UK beef by the end of 2019. The move could be worth an estimated £230 million for British producers in the first five years alone, and 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 by UK Farming Minister Robert Goodwill and the Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming as part of the 10th Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) between the UK and China. It is the culmination of several years of site inspections and engagement between UK and Chinese government officials.
Ahead of the Chinese delegation’s visit to Cardiff, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns met Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaming and Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua to discuss the importance of China’s decision to grant market access to Welsh beef producers. The agreement is estimated to be worth around £25 million per year for the Welsh red meat sector.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
The opening of the Chinese market will open up exciting opportunities for Welsh beef producers who, as a result of the agreement, will soon have access to one of the world’s largest economies.
This agreement demonstrates the growing confidence in our high-quality food and drink in every corner of the world and highlights the growing demand for Welsh beef in dynamic markets worldwide.
As we leave the European Union, the UK Government is determined to open access to new markets, ensuring that Welsh businesses can continue to grow and thrive.
UK Farming Minister Robert Goodwill said:
This is a major coup for our world-class food and farming industry, and a landmark move which could be worth £230 million for British business in the next five years alone.
Today’s milestone reflects our ambition to maximise new trading opportunities across the world and become a truly Global Britain as we leave the EU.
China 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.
The UK’s food exports continue to soar, with food and drink exports worth more than £22 billion last year and food and drink businesses now selling their products to 217 markets.
The government continues to encourage and support businesses through its ‘Food is Great’ campaign as they consider launching into overseas markets or expanding their current global customer base.