Japanese delegation inspects UK production controls

A government delegation from Japan has been inspecting beef production controls across the UK this week – which could reopen the market on UK exports.

The five visiting officials from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and its Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare toured farms, laboratories and abattoirs to learn about the country’s food hygiene controls more than 20 years after the BSE outbreak.

In a bid to seek approval for the sale of UK beef to Japan, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Defra, working alongside, APHA, FSA, UKECP and others, including devolved levy boards and Governments, organised the visit to show the Japanese delegates the high quality standards and welfare behind our successful beef sector.

The six-day mission, which finished today (Fri) with an evaluation of the visit and a discussion on the next steps for the Government and industry, has been welcomed by farming and livestock experts.

AHDB’s International Market Development Director Phil Hadley said: “We are thrilled to have welcomed this delegation from Japan. It represents another important step for UK beef on the global stage. Japan is a lucrative market for specific premium beef products and this visit has the potential to create a number of exciting opportunities for UK exporters.

“We look forward to hearing from the delegation and learning what this inspection will mean for quality UK beef exports to Japan in the years to come.”

The visit has been praised by farming minister George Eustice, who said: “The UK’s beef sector is a global success story – worth more than £2.8 billion in production with exports going to 84 countries around the world.

“Opening the market to Japan could boost the industry by an estimated £15 million each year, driving growth for our farmers and producers and increasing our global reputation for great taste and quality.”