For the first time in over two decades, Americans are to have the opportunity to taste the UK’s beef.

Following the USA’s longstanding ban on EU beef – introduced in the wake of the BSE outbreak in 1996 – market access for UK beef was granted in March 2020, with the first batch heading 'over the pond' this week.

So far only four UK food businesses, based in Wales and Northern Ireland, have been officially listed by the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service as eligible to export UK beef to the USA. The first shipment originates from Foyle Food Group, of Foyle Campsie in Northern Ireland, with further shipments from across the UK expected to commence in the coming weeks.

International trade Secretary Liz Truss suggested that there could be a £66million opportunity for UK beef exporters: “This could be just the tip of the iceberg. The free trade deal we are negotiating with the US will create a host of export opportunities for British agriculture. We are seeking an ambitious and high standards agreement that benefits farmers and delivers for consumers.”

AHDB international market development director Dr Phil Hadley said: “We are rightly proud of our industry, which has a reputation for producing high quality beef to some of the best welfare standards in the world. The US represents an important potential market for our red meat exports and this first shipment is the result of the hard work and persistence of industry and government to bring about this crucial next step.”