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UK lamb and beef exports lower than usual

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in 2021, lamb exports have dropped by 16%, while beef shipped abroad is down by 10%. "The reasons for this are quite complex," argues Catherine Smith, the Chair of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

Posted on Jan 12 ,11:47

UK lamb and beef exports lower than usual

Strong domestic demand for beef and lamb has supported the British red meat sector during the first after Brexit but exports have dropped considerably during the last 12 months. There are many reasons for this, according to Catherine Smith, the Chair of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), who blames the pandemic for this situation. However, in her opinion, a balance between home and export consumption, along with more carefully negotiated trade deals, can bring confidence for meat producers.
"After four years of Brexit uncertainty, farmers and processors have been able to plan ahead in the past 12 months, and are looking to 2022 with some confidence despite the continuing Covid pandemic. Exports are lower than usual, with the overall value of UK lamb exports down around 16% and beef by 10%, but the reasons for this are quite complex. Yes, Brexit has added administrative burdens on exporters and has been one of the factors behind labour shortages in food processing and haulage. But importantly, strong domestic demand has meant that less product has been available for export, which has undoubtedly impacted the figures. Covid has also interrupted trade with the foodservice industry," Mrs. Smith explained.
Newly signed FTS's must be treated carefully to secure protection for farmers and food quality schemes in the UK, she warned. "In the rush to sign trade deals, we have to ensure that there are proper protections for our farmers and consumers. We have some of the best welfare and environmental standards in the world here; allowing unfair competition from abroad is bad for the customer and bad for the environment. As shopping patterns return closer to pre-Covid norms, we have to make sure we’re in a position to take full advantage of both domestic and overseas opportunities," she added.

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