BRITISH poultrymeat has gained access to a new market after the British government agreed an export health certificate regime with Japan.

The British Poultry Council (BPC) said it expected frozen dark cuts of meat and added value products would be the primary exports to the country, which is the world’s third-largest economy.

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Potential sales were estimated at £13m a year, but access to new markets that prefer dark cuts of meat will help UK processors balance chicken carcasses, as UK consumers overwhelmingly prefer breastmeat.

The BPC added that it was working with the government to gain access to markets in Vietnam, Mexico, Brazil and China, as well as restarting sales to South Africa.

The International Meat Trade Association’s chief executive Katie Doherty said tariffs on frozen chicken cuts would reduce from an average of 10% to zero under the UK-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

Tariff reductions

“Without the market access Defra has negotiated, UK exporters would not have been able to benefit from these tariff reductions which the government worked to secure,” she added.

The agreement of Animal Health Requirements (AHR) between Defra and the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (JMAFF) for export of both fresh and cooked poultry meat was concluded in April 2021.

BPC chief executive Richard Griffiths said in a statement: “The British Poultry Council welcomes the exciting news of British export market access for poultry meat to Japan, the world’s third largest economy.

‘New opportunities’

“Our industry has worked closely with Government to open doors and create new opportunities for British poultry meat businesses that produce safe, affordable and nutritious food to world-class standards.

“We look forward to carrying on pursuing new markets to continue putting UK poultry meat on every table around the world.”