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UK exports beef to U.S. first time in over 20 years

Christian Fernsby |
The first shipments of British beef departed for the United States, marking the country's first beef exports to the U.S. market in more than 20 years.

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Topics: U.S.   

According to a statement from the British government, the UK beef industry estimates beef exports will be worth 66 million pounds (about 83.87 million U.S. dollars) over the next five years.

The United States imposed a longstanding ban on EU beef in the wake of the BSE (Mad Cow Disease) outbreak in 1996, but market access for the UK beef was granted in March 2020.

The British government said that means the sector can now begin to reap the economic benefits of trade with the United States.

"This could be just the tip of the iceberg. The free trade deal we are negotiating with the U.S. will create a host of export opportunities for British agriculture. We are seeking an ambitious and high standards agreement that benefits farmers and delivers for consumers," said Britain's International Trade Secretary Liz Truss.

The government also said that they aim to raise the international profile and reputation of food and drink from across Britai and help more food and drink companies export their products abroad.

International Market Development Director Phil Hadley from Britain's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said, "The U.S. represents an important potential market for our red meat exports and today's first shipment is the result of the hard work and persistence of industry and government to bring about this crucial next step."

In a recent interview, Hadley told Xinhua that he expected the British beef exports to China to start at the end of this year or early into next year.

"We'll finalize our beef paperwork and begin to start shipping shortly," he said.

Even though the ongoing difficulties caused by COVID-19, red meat exports from Britain have enjoyed a good start in 2020 with shipments already worth 733 million pounds (about 945.32 million U.S. dollars) in the first six months, up nearly three percent on the same period last year, the AHDB data showed.

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