UK-United States beef protocol positive result, says UFU

Friday, 13 March, 2020

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) beef and lamb chairman Sam Chesney says, the announcement of the UK-United States beef protocol is a positive result for Northern Ireland (NI) beef farmers and the timing of this could not be more fitting.

Mr Chesney said, “This is good news for the sector at a time when our beef farmers are facing huge uncertainty as trade talks with the European Union continues. Beef farmers are currently suffering as a result of low farm gate prices and incomes. The government needs to work as efficiently as possible with the industry so beef farmers on the ground see the benefit of this deal.”

The comments were made earlier this week after government official International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, agreed equivalence of standards on the UK’s disease control measures following a three-week inspection in 2019 with the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), confirmed that the UK meets the equivalence criteria for FSIS to recognise it as a single food safety inspection.

The UFU beef and lamb chairman says the UFU wants to ensure that the government and industry capitalise on this agreement. “This is an opportunity for beef farmers in NI to increase exports as a result of gaining direct access to the US market. We have a world-class food industry and farm to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards. This export deal is worth around £66 million over the first five years and will provide a much-needed boost for the beef sector. It is vital that all stakeholders work continuously to get the final administrative details carried out so NI beef can be shipped to the US.”