Post-Brexit export win: How British cattle is a huge success across the world

British cattle are putting the beef into post-Brexit export successes with the world salivating over prime cuts of the historic breed.

Since we quit the EU the list of countries signing up to get a taste of the full-flavoured bovines is growing, with Japan and Hong Kong leading the charge.

British beef exports to Japan totalled 1.78 million in January 2022, almost one-fifth of 2021’s total in just a month.

Japan opened the market after a series of visits and negotiations between officials and is now central to the booming overseas British beef market.

The list of non-EU countries in which our world-class meat is enjoying huge success now includes the US, Mexico, South Africa, Hong Kong, Canada, Chile, Ghana, Iran, and the Philippines. And Herefords, first exported from Britain in 1817, is the breed of choice.

Phillip Allman, chairman of The Hereford Cattle Society, said: “Beef already has a larger price tag than other meat options, so there is a prediction meat will be eaten less but choice will be looked at more closely regarding welfare, quality, and value. That’s where the Hereford shines.

“It’s ability to convert grass to muscle is outstanding, the time it takes to mature is shorter than other native breeds, yet it is still able to develop marbling which is a necessity to achieve that melt-in-the-mouth quality you get in top quality restaurants but is achievable at home.

“We have a very negative opinion of fat and there needs to be a better education but when your gran says fat is flavour, she’s right. It ensures the beef doesn’t dry out and shrink to nothing while being cooked.”

On average, 23 percent of UK beef exports and 39 percent of beef offal exports were shipped to non-EU countries between 2019 and 2021.

The latest culinary success story comes British Food Fortnight, the biggest celebration of British food and drink, comes to an end. There has been a rise in Hereford sired calf registrations at a time of a reduction of continental breeds.

Native breeds are becoming increasingly popular as consumers balance cost, sustainability and taste. Herefords, out of any other native breed, have the best forage to muscle conversion rate, enabling them to eat grass and grow well, meaning they need less farm feeds, keeping soil undisturbed, and locking in carbon.