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Russian vets visit UK processors

By Melodie Michel , 15-Feb-2012

The UK meat industry is hoping to expand its export market to Russia after a delegation of Russian veterinarians inspected the country’s processing plants.

Peter Hardwick, head of trade development for the red meat body Eblex, said: “Russia is one of our target markets for both beef and lamb exports. As such, the visit of the Russian delegation is a step in the right direction towards the UK achieving market access.

“Ultimately, improved market access for beef and lamb in non-EU countries will help improve the UK’s ability to compete in the global arena and optimise returns for producers.”

The eight Russian vets were accompanied by the UK’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) during their week-long visit.

Eblex believes Russia presents big export opportunities as the biggest beef importer, and has placed the country at the top of its market access priorities. Import restrictions still hamper trade between the two regions, but it is estimated that, should they be lifted, the Russian market could bring the UK beef industry £115m in the first three years.

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