Assurance will be critical to secure top prices for cow beef on European export markets, said Peter Mitchell, chairman of the European Minced Meat Association.

He spoke in support of Assured British Meat’s Dairy Event campaign to encourage 15,000 dairy-assured producers to become beef-assured.

“British producers will soon be on a level playing field in Europe for the first time in many years, with a competitive advantage on beef assurance,” he said.

The EU has turned from a net exporter of beef to a net importer in just two years and is currently facing a shortage of manufacturing beef, which according to MLC, saw cow prices rise 10-15% across the EU last year.

“Existing UK beef assurance schemes will make it easier for the UK to supply European customers who want better quality cow beef that is fully traceable,” Mr Mitchell added.