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Welcome for End to Russian Meat Import Ban

26 November 2012


UK - The English Beef and Lamb Execyutive has welcomed Russia’s official lifting of its 26-year ban on importing meat supplies, which could be worth between £80 million and £115 million to the industry over three years.

Beef exports are expected to begin from a limited number of plants in the new year, while lamb exports are due to follow in April. The technical decision to lift the ban was made during the summer and this political announcement has confirmed the position.

In 2011, fresh and frozen beef and veal exports from the UK were worth £438.1 million, while fresh and frozen sheep meat exports were worth £381.6 million. Significantly, Russia one of the largest importers of beef with imports of more than 600,000 tonnes.

Peter Hardwick, EBLEX head of trade development, said: “EBLEX has been working closely with Defra to emphasise the importance of this market and, through the Export Certification Partnership with Defra, placed Russia as a top priority in terms of market access and the lifting of import restrictions.

“Russia remains one of the largest global importers of beef and the potential for beef exports there is enormous. We welcome the official political announcement but are not surprised as the technical decision to lift the ban had already been made, added Mr Harwick.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “British food is recognised around the world for using quality ingredients, for rigorous production standards, and for reliable traceability. This deal is further evidence of international confidence in what British producers have to offer."

“Our food exports are booming, recently topping £18bn a year, and this Government is doing all it can to open up markets abroad.”

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said: “This is great news and a massive boost for our industry, again demonstrating that British produce is in demand on both home and export markets.

“Russia is one of the largest global importers of beef and although there will still be a lot of work to do, the potential demand for our beef is huge. The work of our levy bodies and government departments in continuing to open up these export markets is vital and will go a long way towards ensuring a competitive and sustainable beef and lamb industry.”

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