No cash for beef export push

15 July 1999

No cash for beef export push

By Vicky Houchin

THERE will be no money available to drive British beef sales abroad, despite yesterdays announcement that beef exports will resume on 1 August.

The Meat and Livestock Commission has confirmed it has no plans for any major marketing campaign.

A spokesman for the organisation said that it would continue with the work it has been doing.

“What weve been doing is `Inward Missions over the past two years, and we will obviously continue with this work,” he added.

But Jackie Hruby, export production manager for beef at the MLC, said that a major campaign would not actually be appropriate at present because there would not be enough of the product available.

She acknowledged that there is a lot of consumer concern on the Continent and great deal of work to be done to communicate further to consumers.

Rémi Fourrier, the MLCs man in Paris, agreed with Ms Hruby that consumers on the Continent remain suspicious about British beef.

He said that it could be years before British beef is back on French supermarket shelves.

“If British beef was put in the shops, no one would take it and the supermarkets wont take that risk,” said Mr Fourrier.

However, there will be scope for British exports to target the French catering sector, he said.

Mr Fourrier has never lost touch with former customers and has regular meetings with importers.

He claims that local importers will be very keen to take British beef into France again, and will do everything they can to bring it back in.

When European Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler announced the lifting of the beef ban yesterday, he said British exporters would need to question how they can convince consumers to eat British beef again.

“It will be necessary in my view in the main importing countries for British beef to do some advertising and also to give all the information necessary so that it can be showed that British beef is safe,” he added.

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