Beef producers in the UK can export products to South Africa again for the first time in 15 years.
Notification was given this week that domestically produced deboned beef from anatomically recognisable cuts, as well as a significant range of offal, could be sold into South Africa, which was the largest non-EU market for English beef prior to the BSE crisis in 1996.
It represents a significant breakthrough for the industry after extensive work by EBLEX and other members of the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) behind the scenes.
“There has been lengthy negotiation with the South African authorities to secure the opening of the market and this should be seen as a significant breakthrough for our industry,” said Peter Hardwick, head of trade development for EBLEX.
“It means that domestic producers and processors now have even more markets to match cuts with, and this is something they have been pushing for for a long time.
“EBLEX has been dedicating additional resources to opening new markets since the second half of last year and has now secured access to an additional 30 non-EU countries, which is helping to make us a significant player on the global market again.
“The opening of the South African market again is a real boost for our industry and can only help further toward sustainable prices for our producers.”
There is no age restriction on the beef that can be exported to South Africa. Offal allowed under the arrangement includes thick skirt, heart, liver, kidney, reticulum and blanched beef heels.
Beef exports from the UK rose to £331 million in 2010, their highest level since 1996.
More information on export health certificates can be found here.
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