China is looking for European beef and lamb
As of mid-September, Chinese officials have been present in the UK and Denmark to inspect cattle and sheep farms and processing plants as China is looking to diversify the beef and lamb imports starting next year.
In the UK, the visit was highly welcomed as the country has a long years ban on lamb in China. HCC Export Development Executive Deanna Jones said that the visit was another important step, following the announcement earlier this year of the signing of a protocol agreement on beef, which could lead to the Chinese market opening to PGI Welsh Beef in 2020.
“The Chinese market is, of course, the most populous in the world,” said Deanna. “If we were able to lift the historic restrictions on exports to the People’s Republic, it could be a major boost to lamb and beef farmers in Wales.
“In the summer, we made very good progress on beef following the GACC inspection and the visit of the high-level Chinese delegation with Welsh Government to farms in Wales,” added Deanna. “But we’ve always been clear that being able to export PGI Welsh Lamb is hugely important. We’re therefore pleased to see progress in this area too, although it’s too soon to say when sheepmeat exports might begin.”
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “The red meat sector is of huge importance to Welsh agriculture and the economy. As we prepare to leave the European Union, lifting restrictions could provide a great opportunity for our producers to explore new overseas markets and get a foothold in the Chinese market for our iconic PGI Welsh Lamb.”
For Denmark, the visit was arranged during the visit of Mogens Jensen, Minister of Food, in China, last month. Currently, China's main suppliers of beef and lamb are Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Australia and New Zealand.
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