3 May 1996

No point lifting worldwide ban

WORLDWIDE lack of consumer confidence will mean beef exports will not pick up even if the global ban is lifted.

Nik Askaroff, managing director of ADM (UK), one of the UKs leading boneless beef exporters, said it had taken some nations six years to lift a ban after the first BSE scare in 1989.

"Egypt had only resumed exports a few months before the latest worldwide ban and Russia has never lifted the ban. Though there may be some countries, such as Zaire, which need beef to help its famine relief programme, most nations will look elsewhere.

"Even if the ban is lifted tomorrow, it will take years to re-establish the confidence in our export market-places and restore our former trading levels," he added.

His fears have been repeated by both the Federation of Fresh Meat Wholesalers and NFU deputy president, Ben Gill.

Since the ban on British beef was introduced in March, Mr Askaroff said nations which had been importing beef had turned to supplies from Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the EU.

At present, there is a total of 30,000t of embargoed British beef stocks stranded around the world, and concern is growing over the governments plans. &#42