US mission to boost red meat exports branded a success

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

An AHDB mission to the US with red meat exporters to explore opportunities for lamb and beef from the UK, has been hailed a success.

The visit, which centered around the Annual Meat Conference in Texas, resulted in a number of valuable connections with American buyers, all of which have the potential to boost red meat exports.

According to AHDB’s International Market Development Director Dr Phil Hadley, the event exceeded expectations and, while there are challenges in exporting to the US, the opportunities are plentiful.

“We know that we face a number of challenges exporting red meat to this market, including raising awareness of brand Britain and competing with countries that are already well-established and well-regarded by American consumers,” said Dr Hadley. “However, the reception we received from American buyers was very encouraging, with most giving positive feedback to the taste and high-quality of our red meat and even arranging meetings with our exporters to discuss possible orders.”

The Annual Meat Conference took place last week, providing AHDB and exporters with the opportunity to network with more than 1,500 meat professionals from across the States. AHDB shared a stand with Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), and served up samples of beef, pork and lamb, as well as hosting a butchery demonstration by AHDB’s master butcher Martin Eccles.

The mission to the US, which also included visits to local retailers, a beef ranch and a sheep farm, was organised by AHDB to help boost exports to the US, where demand for UK meat has increased over the past year.

According to the latest data from HMRC, red meat exports to the US in 2022 topped £36 million, with pork shipments making up the lion’s share, worth £27.9 million – up 18 per cent in value on the previous year. Last year, 1,235 tonnes of beef were exported to the US, worth £8.2 million.

However, shipments were down on the previous year, due to the beef import quota filling quickly as other exporting nations also targeted the market. Also, in October of last year, the first shipment of lamb from the UK arrived in the US after more than two decades. The first consignment was served at a gathering of US industry leaders at the Meat Importers Council of America (MICA) annual conference.

AHDB’s Senior Export Manager for America Susana Morris added: “The US is an important export market for our red meat and it’s vital that we continue to have a presence at trade shows and conferences to ensure that we make valuable connections with importers.

“This is the first time that AHDB has attended the Annual Meat Conference and we were delighted with the quality of the event and the calibre of attendees who visited our stand. We look forward to seeing the fruits of our labour through the creation of commercial orders.”

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