27 November 1998

MLCcampaigns in Europe on safety

MEAT and Livestock Commission leaflets, promoting the safety and quality of British beef, are being distributed throughout Europe in a bid to persuade consumers to put the product back on their plates.

But the commission warns that recapturing the export market, worth £520m in 1995, will not be easy. And it predicts that the industry is unlikely to win back more than 30% of that business in the next year.

As well as the leaflets, the MLC is also planning to continue bringing international meat buyers, food industry representatives and journalists to Britain to see for themselves the production standards and health controls that have been introduced since the BSE crisis began in 1996.

In Northern Ireland, where the beef ban was lifted for certified herds back in Sept, exports are still slow, with only about 20-30 tonnes leaving the province each week. The Livestock and Meat Commission says it will continue to promote Ulster beef in overseas stores, but a lack of resources has prevented an EU-wide campaign.