LONDON –Russia ended an 18-year ban on British beef and lamb by brokering a trade deal worth up to £100 million ($156.3 million) over three years, the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) reported. Russia imposed the ban following an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the mid-90's.
The trade agreement includes a £7 million ($11.2 million) contract for lamb meat, and it paves the way for an additional £2 million ($3.2 million) contract for beef offal, according to DEFRA. ABP Dorset of ABP will supply lamb to a Russian distributor in a deal worth £7 million annually. ABP Dorset is a subsidiary of ABP Food Group, a privately owned food processor.
“I’m thrilled that our negotiations with Russia have proved successful,” said UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson. “This is a credit to our vets and producers who have all worked amazingly hard to meet the required export standards. With the inclusion of offal as part of the deal, the gates of opportunity are now well and truly open for our meat industry.
“The progress we have made is testament to the high standards of production and traceability for which British products are famous, he added. This deal is great news for farmers, exporters and the UK economy as a whole.”
Food and beverage exports from the United Kingdom to Russian have grown by more than 220 percent since 2000, according to DEFRA, with a current value of more than £121,562,000 ($194 million).