Meat & Livestock News

Japan Welcomes British Cooked Poultry Meat

Plate with roasted turkey on white background

British-cooked poultry meat is set to grace Japanese dining tables, following a new market access agreement that promises to benefit UK farmers, meat processors, and exporters. The industry projects that this market could generate over £10 million in revenue within the next five years.

Previously, the UK had been exporting poultry meat to Japan since a market access deal was established in 2021. However, the occurrence of Avian Influenza outbreaks in the UK had imposed certain trade restrictions.

This new agreement facilitates a more streamlined trade of cooked poultry meat, allowing for increased high-value exports to Japan. Notably, Moy Park, one of the UK’s premier poultry meat producers based in Grantham, Lincolnshire, is the inaugural company to be officially sanctioned to export cooked poultry to Japan under this accord.

Japan is globally recognised for its rigorous food safety measures and import controls, as well as its preference for diverse, high-quality meat cuts.

The acceptance of UK cooked poultry products in the Japanese market is a testament to Japan’s trust in the superior standards of UK poultry production techniques.

The negotiations were spearheaded by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and their Agriculture Attaché, in collaboration with the British Embassy in Tokyo. The British Poultry Council (BPC), South Kesteven District Council, and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) also played pivotal roles in the discussions.

Mark Spencer, the Food and Farming Minister, expressed his delight, stating, “British poultry is globally renowned as some of the finest, and I’m thrilled that these premium products will now be relished in Japan.” He also commended the Agri-food Attaché network for their relentless efforts in securing such trade opportunities and championing UK farmers.

Dr Jorge Martin-Almagro, the UK Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, highlighted the significance of this market access agreement for the UK poultry sector, praising the quality of their meat.

He also acknowledged the challenges posed by Avian Influenza and lauded the achievement of finalising a deal that permits the export of these prized UK poultry products.

Nigel Huddleston, the Minister for International Trade, described this as a monumental victory for British poultry farmers and producers. He emphasised the importance of dismantling trade barriers globally to bolster opportunities for British enterprises, aiming to achieve £1 trillion of exports annually by 2030.

Richard Griffiths, the Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council, welcomed the news and expressed gratitude to the Defra market access team and all government officials for their dedication.

He also highlighted the council’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing crucial market relationships.

In related news, Japan remains a significant market for premium UK breeding poultry. A recent agreement ensures that any future avian influenza outbreaks will only result in temporary export restrictions from the affected regions, rather than a nationwide ban. This arrangement will enable Japanese poultry firms to maintain access to top-tier UK poultry genetics.

Source: GOV.UK