British cooked poultry meat products will soon reach Japanese tables thanks to a new market access deal that will benefit UK farmers, meat processers and exporters. The industry estimates that this market could be worth over £10 million in the next five years.
UK poultry meat has been exported to Japan since a market access deal for fresh and cooked poultry was secured in 2021, but Avian Influenza outbreaks in the UK have led to restrictions on the trade.
The new agreement enables smoother trade of cooked poultry meat, meaning that additional high value exports to Japan can be made. Moy Park is the first company to be officially registered to export cooked poultry to Japan under this agreement from its facilities in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
Negotiations were led by Defra and their Agriculture Attaché and colleagues based at the British Embassy in Tokyo, with support from the British Poultry Council (BPC), South Kesteven District Council and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Food and Farming Minister Mark Spencer said: “British poultry is rightly celebrated as some of the best in the world and I’m delighted that new high value products can now be enjoyed in Japan.
“I’d like to pay tribute to our Agri-food Attaché network who work hard to secure trade opportunities like this and fly the flag for UK farmers.”
British Poultry Council Chief Executive, Richard Griffiths said: “We welcome the good news of market access for cooked poultry meat exports to Japan.
“Following today’s announcement, we thank the Defra market access team and all Government officials involved for securing exciting opportunities for BPC members, putting food on every table round the world despite the big challenges at hand, including successful negotiations of regionalisation for highly pathogenic avian influenza. We look forward to continuing our work building, maintaining and enhancing crucial markets and relationships – both existing and new.”
Beatriz Curran, International Business Development Manager at Moy Park said: “We are incredibly proud to be the first UK business set to benefit from this fantastic export opportunity. As a company, we are wholly focused on the highest standards of food safety, integrity and animal welfare and so we are thankful to collaborate with industry and partners to successfully reach this new market.”
Japan is also a valuable market for high quality UK breeding poultry, with a further market access agreement secured in recent weeks. The agreement streamlines regionalisation for exports of breeding chicks, ensuring that any future avian influenza outbreaks only lead to temporary restrictions on exports from affected regions, rather than a countrywide ban. The UK are world leaders in the supply of poultry genetics, and this deal will allow Japanese poultry companies to continue access to UK high-grade stock.