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Defra and livestock industry announce UKECP

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Defra and the UK livestock export industry are launching a new partnership to help exporters enjoy a larger share of the global market.

The new UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP), built on the success of the Export Certification User Group that has been meeting over the last six years, will further improve the use of joint Defra/industry efforts to negotiate with non-EU markets.

Initially a three year trial, UKECP is an informal industry working group that:
• liaises with the UK livestock and livestock product industries to establish export market priorities;
• provides a forum to discuss the use of Defra agents to negotiate export health certificates on behalf of the UK; and
• helps to draft and follow through the agreement of export health certification which is generally required before exports can commence.

The UK's Farming Minister Jane Kennedy said,“Britain has a world-class livestock industry, but to get the most out of competitive international markets it's crucial that the Government and Industry works together. After disease outbreaks in the past, the partnership between government and industry has helped to speed the reopening of the international markets, and this new partnership will strengthen that response and widen the opportunities available to our exporters.”

Peter Hardwick, International Manager of the Agriculture, Horticulture Development Board Meat Services (AHDBms) said, “The UK Export Certification Partnership strengthens the already excellent co-operation between industry and government on market access work. It will facilitate greater flexibility in the allocation of resources to what is often a very time consuming and complex process. International markets are essential to the profitability of the UK meat and livestock sector and we are confident that this new initiative will open up even more avenues to develop further our international trade.”

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