Saudi Arabia lifts UK lamb ban in deal worth £25m

By Alex Black – Farmers Guardian

Saudi Arabian authorities have lifted the ban on sheepmeat from the UK this week and exports could start as early as next month once export certification is finalised and released.

AHDB International Market Development Director Phil Hadley said: “This is great news for the sheep industry and for lamb processors and producers in the UK who are keen to look at new, non-EU markets.

“The announcement is the result of ongoing and detailed work between all parties and is a testament to the high regard and quality of UK lamb.”

It follows negotiations and inspections carried out jointly by Defra, AHDB, FSA, UKECP, DAERA and APHA.

Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) said it was a major boost to the industry as Saudi Arabia was a priority future market for Welsh Lamb.


Saudi Arabia imports around 40 per cent of its meat with lamb the most popular.

HCC market development executive Rhys Llywelyn said it was a huge opportuntity.

“It will take work to establish the PGI Welsh Lamb brand in the market, but it is already well-known in the UAE

“From our recent work with the processors in terms of certification and with the Welsh Government trade mission, we feel as though we are as ready as we can be to take advantage.”

“With Brexit on the horizon, exploring markets beyond the EU is more important than ever.

“We look forward to working with Welsh farmers and processors to make the most of this opportunity.”

The news arrives in the middle of Dubai’s Gulfood trade fair, the largest food fair in the Middle East where both AHDB and HCC were present alongside food industry executives from Saudi Arabia.