Day dedication of processing plants could enable more operators to tackle trade Long expected moves aimed at increasing the commercial viability of British beef exports are at last beginning with a formal approach to Brussels by the MLC and MAFF likely within the next few weeks. However those within MLC responsible for the proposal admit it is hard to believe much practical progress will be made until well into next year and any change in the rules will probably have no effect on the retail market in this country. The proposal now being drafted would allow day dedication' of processing plants serving export customers, a concession the meat companies claim is essential for profitability. Under the present arrangements any company wishing to export must allocate a plant solely to overseas business. The heavy expense relative to available order volume has kept the export trade limited to just two operators so far. These exporters, St Merryn and Scotbeef, might quickly be joined by others likely to include ABP and ANM if Brussels can be persuaded to change the system. The rule change proposal will go first to the European Commission's veterinary science advisors and if approved by these experts would eventually need the agreement of agriculture ministers. {{MEAT }}