Britain’s red meat industry was in buoyant mood at Anuga - as companies started to prepare for the relaxation of the rules governing exports of British beef.
As part of its efforts to prepare the industry for when Brussels lifts the restrictive date-based export scheme (DBES), expected early next year, Eblex organised an export mission for red meat companies.
On the mission was RWM Food Group, the only English processor shipping product to Europe under DBES. RWM’s Robert Heffer said his business was exporting 15 tonnes of beef a week to Italy, Belgium and Holland. Exporting under the current rules was tough, he admitted, but he added: “We wanted to get our business at the front of the queue for when relaxation happens next February.”
Defra minister Lord Bach said the government was pressing for the rules to be dismantled as soon as possible, saying this would be an important step towards the normalisation of the beef trade in Europe.
He hosted a meeting to discuss difficulties faced by the British industry, particularly over pricing. But he felt the ending of the OTM rule next month would help farmers by replacing some of the beef being imported.