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SIAL Report: Talks to Open New Export Markets

by 5m Editor
21 October 2008, at 5:41pm

FRANCE - Quality Meat Scotland is in talks with the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs in a bid to unlock potentially valuable export markets in Dubai and Hong Kong.

UK exporters are still unable to export beef outside Europe because of concerns that remain following the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE; 'mad cow disease') crisis in the country.

The UK regained access to the EU two years ago and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has designated the UK as a country with a controlled risk of BSE.

However, exports outside the EU are limited and were hit further last year by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in England.

Now Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is talking to Defra to draw up a list of countries to approach to secure export health certificates.

QMS chairman, speaking at SIAL (Salon International de l'Agroalimentaire International; 'The Global Food Market Exhibition') in Paris said, " Whilst Europe is always likely to be our key market for exports, there are some major untapped markets around the world that Scottish red meat companies could be targeting for business.

"Our analysis shows that the UK is currently sitting second from bottom of the table of European countries that are exporting beef outside the EU, selling 47 tonnes annually compared to Germany at the top of the table exporting over 15,000 tonnes.

"The research also shows that some of these countries are particularly interested in buying premium branded beef, lamb and pork but there is also great potential to develop sales of offal to the likes of China.

"We have been working closely with the Scottish Government on the promotion of Scottish produce and following initial discussions with Defra, we are now talking to red meat companies in Scotland.

"Together we are drawing up a list of countries that they believe would be worth targeting in order to put resources into cutting red tape and allowing us to sell into these markets."

5m Editor