British beef ban to be lifted on Monday - Farmers Weekly

Subscribe and save

Farmers Weekly from £129
Saving £36
In print AND tablet

SUBSCRIBE NOW

sub_ad_img

British beef ban to be lifted on Monday

20 November 1998
British beef ban to be lifted on Monday

EUROPEAN agriculture ministers are expected to lift the ban on British beef exports on Monday …more…


  is here
Report your cattle movements direct to the BCMS on FWi

Making Money out of Beef – MLC report
click here for a summary
MLC Interactive Beef Management programme

    Read more on:
  • News

British beef ban to be lifted on Monday

20 November 1998
British beef ban to be lifted on Monday

By Johann Tasker and Philip Clarke

EUROPEAN agriculture ministers are expected to lift the ban on British beef exports on Monday (23 November).

UK agriculture minister Nick Brown is said to be “cautiously optimistic” that the ban will be repealed at a meeting of European farm ministers in Brussels.

At least eight out of the 15 European Union countries must vote in favour of the ban to be lifted for overseas sales of British beef to resume.

The move is likely to boost the spirits of Britains beef farmers, who have seen prices plummet since the export ban was imposed at the height of the BSE crisis in March 1996.

But British beef is unlikely to grace the dining tables of the rest of the world for several more months.

Industry leaders have warned that it will some time before the first shipment of beef heads for the Continent.

Brussels inspectors will have to visit the UK again, before giving the all clear – probably next March.

Traders will then face the onerous task of persuading other countries to buy British. Germany has opposed the lifting of the ban and has vociferously questioned the safety of eating British beef.

“I do not expect us to sell a single tonne to German retailers,” said Maximilian Graf Saurma, agent for the UK Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) in Frankfurt.

“Some restaurants may start taking it again, but it will have to be Scottish, sold on special promotion.”

Shifting commodity beef will be almost impossible, agreed MLC economist Duncan Sinclair.

The strength of the Pound means many British farm products are uncompetitively priced. Despite some recent currency weakening, Sterling still stands at DM2.8 against the Deutschmark, compared with DM2.3 when exports were at their peak in 1995.

Before the BSE crisis, annual beef exports were worth £520 million (US$865m) to British farmers.

The UK exported about 3400 tonnes of beef a week, equivalent to about 11,000 carcasses, or 25% of the national kill.

Efforts to counter BSE and ensure the safety of British beef have since cost a huge amount of money.

By 2001 the BSE-related bill to taxpayers is expected to have reached £4 billion (US$6.6bn).

    Read more on:
  • News
blog comments powered by Disqus