British lamb has been exported to the USA for the first time in over 20 years after the United States Department for Agriculture agreed to open the market for British lamb last year.
Industry estimates the US market will be worth £37 million in the first five years of trade, opening up access for British farmers to a market of over 300 million American consumers to enjoy the United Kingdom’s world-renowned lamb, part of the government’s work to boost exports and grow the economy.
The deal agreed last year comes alongside the wider efforts across government to drive growth and open up new opportunities for the British food and farming sector, in turn boosting jobs, skills and productivity across the country. This includes capitalising on new trade freedoms outside the EU through export opportunities, ensuring that premium products are not just enjoyed at home but championed around the world.
Environment Secretary Ranil Jayawardena said: “Tucking into roast lamb for Sunday lunch is quintessentially British – and now millions of American families will now be able to enjoy our top-quality lamb too.
“The opportunity for growth for British food is enormous – bringing jobs, skills and prosperity across the nation. With our mission to unlock growth, we will continue to secure more opportunities for our farmers and food producers to benefit from new markets.”
This announcement follows a string of export successes in the last two years including the first export of beef to the USA in decades and the first ever export of British pork to Chile.
NFU President Minette Batters said: “It is great news that British farmers producing top quality, sustainable, high-welfare lamb once again have access to the US market, something we’ve been working hard to achieve for over two decades. Expanding into markets such as these will be crucial to maintain the profitability of farm businesses.
“Earlier this year I set out our ambition to grow our agri-foods exports by 30% by 2030 and become the number one supplier of choice both at home and abroad. It’s vital we seize opportunities such as these so British food producers can export more Great British food overseas in the years ahead.”
Phil Stocker, Chief Executive of the National Sheep Association, said: “This is fantastic news for the British sheep industry and it comes after many years of hard work, by Government and their departments, by AHDB and devolved nations levy bodies, by NSA, and by the industry operators who have made it happen.
“The success of the British sheep industry is underpinned by market opportunities and access to the US will offer just that, building on what is already a healthy demand for our high quality British lamb and sheepmeat here and overseas.”