Exporters can take advantage of the market as soon as the administrative listing process is completed and export certification is made available, the UK Government said in a statement (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images).

British farmers and food producers will soon be able to export British sheep meat to India as the country prepares to open its market for the first time.

The UK’s sheep meat exports were worth £386 million to the economy in 2017, with lamb meat alone reaching 69 export markets.

The new agreement announced on Wednesday (5), covers a range of sheep meat cuts, is expected to build on this by over £6m in the next five years.

The deal has been secured following a detailed process of inspections and negotiations by the UK government, working with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP).

Exporters can take advantage of the market as soon as the administrative listing process is completed and export certification is made available, the UK Government said in a statement.

It follows a number of recent successes for UK food and drinks exports, which reached a record level of £22 billion in 2017. China recently lifted its two-decade-long ban on UK beef exports, while Taiwan also opened its market to British pork for the first time. Together, the agreements are estimated to represent over £300m in the first five years alone.

Food Minister George Eustice said, “the latest market access opening in India represents a significant win for the UK’s sheep meat producers. The announcement builds on the UK’s food and drinks exporting success story – our well-established reputation for taste, quality and high animal welfare standards has seen our food and drink industry export at record levels in recent years.”

In Wales, lamb exports account for a third of total food and drink exports worth £110m.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP, said, “the opening of the Indian market to British lamb is further good news for our farmers, and is another vote of confidence in our world-leading food and drink at a time when exports from the sector are at a record high.”

A team of the government’s leading trade experts continue to provide guidance to UK businesses as they enter into overseas markets for the first time or consider expanding their current global customer base ensuring they are poised to take advantage of the increasing opportunities Brexit presents.

This is complemented by the government’s Food is GREAT campaign, which aims to showcase the UK’s top quality food and drink overseas, while highlighting the success of our current exporters.

RELATED ARTICLES