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Japan market opening for UK beef and lamb

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Japan market opening for UK beef and lamb

Picture of sliced beef on chopping board.
Beef cut on chopping board.

There has been widespread coverage today of the announcement that Japan is opening its market to UK beef and lamb.

The Mirror, Financial Times and the Sun have all reported on the value of the agreement, which is estimated to be worth a total of £127 million over the first five years of access – approximately £75 million for beef and £52 million for lamb.

Japan is a major importer of beef with a growing demand for high quality lamb. The deal, signed during Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the UK, lifts Japan’s two-decade long ban on imports of these products from the UK with immediate effect.

This follows a year of global successes for UK exporters, which included China lifting its ban on UK beef, Taiwan opening its market to pork and India preparing to import UK sheep meat.

Farming Minister George Eustice said:

The opening of the Japanese market is an excellent result for beef and lamb producers across the UK and demonstrates confidence in our high standards of food and drink.

As we enter a new era as a global exporter, unlocking this market marks a major step for future trading relationships and signals our commitment to supporting our food and drink industry to export more British produce.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Board (AHDB) and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) also welcomed the deal, with the NFU calling the agreement “very positive news and a much needed boost for British beef and sheep producers.

AHDB International Market Development Director Dr Phil Hadley said:

Today’s announcement is fantastic news for our farmers and producers and it follows years of hard work by government, AHDB and key industry stakeholders.

Access to this lucrative new market is a testament to the high quality produce and world-renowned standards we have here in the UK. We are confident this new deal to export beef and lamb to Japan, alongside our existing pork trade, will create some exciting opportunities for our beef and sheep producers.

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