Lamb exports to America closer


The mission to get British lamb chops back onto American dinner plates has moved a step nearer, Farming Minister George Eustice will announce at the National Sheep Event on Wednesday, 27 July 2016.

Speaking at the opening of the flagship National Sheep Association (NSA) show in Malvern, Worcestershire, the Minister of State will confirm the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published proposals for consultation to relax import restrictions on lamb that could generate an extra £35 million for the UK economy. This significant step forward means that British lamb is on track to be available for US consumers by early 2017.

The move is the latest in ongoing efforts to allow Britain’s farmers to start exporting sheep meat to the United States’ 300 million consumers.

A 1,000-page dossier was submitted to the USDA detailing the safety and quality of British beef and lamb ahead of April’s trade talks with US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in Washington.

Speaking at the NSA Sheep Event, Farming Minister George Eustice will say:

The US decision to press ahead with proposals to lift export restrictions on British lamb is great news for our farmers who are one step closer to gaining access to the lucrative American market, worth an estimated £35 million a year.

Our world-leading food and drink industry is a key part of our nation’s economic success and in addition to forging good trade deals with our European neighbours, we want to secure more export opportunities in the States as well as with our close friends in the Commonwealth and other countries around the world.

Defra is now co-ordinating UK farming industry comment for the 60-day consultation and liaising with relevant US trade associations to gain support for proposals.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said:

Increasing the number of export destinations for British sheep meat is vital for our industry, ensuring there is demand for our quality product in as many markets as possible.

It is very encouraging that the USA is interested in opening its doors. Lamb sales in the USA have dropped over the years, as a result of a falling domestic production base, and NSA would like to see British lamb exported and promoted to boost consumption. It could be a real opportunity for our sector.

NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe said:

Re-opening the US beef and lamb market to UK imports would be a positive move and an important confidence building measure for the British livestock sector. The US is potentially a huge and affluent market that has strong links to the UK as we share history and language.


Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and George Eustice

Meat supplier’s assets bought out of administration

Meat supplier’s assets bought out of administration

The business and key assets of a Lancashire-based lamb and beef supplier, which stopped trading in the run-up to Christmas with more than 130 jobs lost, have been bought out of administration.

The deal for B Riley & Sons sees Dale Valley Rossendale acquire seven properties, including an abattoir in Dunnockshaw near Burnley, and other assets such as plant and machinery in a transaction completed on 29 June 2016.

According to Companies House, Dale Valley Rossendale is a newly incorporated company whose sole director and shareholder is Stephen Riley.

Paul Flint and David Standish of KPMG were appointed joint administrators of B Riley & Sons on 16 December 2015. The company, which had 131 employees, ceased trading just before Christmas with all staff made redundant.

A subsequent report by administrator KPMG revealed that the company experienced significant cash-flow problems following the transformational expansion of its abattoir.

The company and its joint administrators were assisted by Sanderson Weatherall and Eversheds on the deal.

Flint, associate partner at KPMG, said: “B Riley & Sons was one of the largest independent abattoir and meat processing businesses in the North of England, and a major supplier of lamb to the European market.

“We are therefore delighted to have been able to conclude this complex sale following a six-month marketing and negotiation period, and particularly in light of the events of the last seven days.”

Richard Frost

Senior Digital Staff Writer