The UK and Philippine Governments have signed a new beef export deal that will be worth £34m over the next five years.

The deal was approved after a delegation of inspectors from the Philippines visited meat plants last year.

In 1996, the Philippine Government stopped beef imports from the UK due to concerns regarding bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), but the ban was lifted in 2001.

The UK is currently permitted to export pork, lamb and poultry to the Philippines.

“Securing market access for our world-class beef to the Philippines is a huge vote of confidence."

UK Food Minister George Eustice said: “Securing market access for our world-class beef to the Philippines is a huge vote of confidence for a sector that already exports more than £350m around the world, including Hong Kong and Canada.

“The UK beef industry is the envy of the world and this strong demand globally for our traditional breeds reared to the highest welfare standards is what drives our exports and creates opportunities for our farmers.”

In order to secure this deal, the UK Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) worked with UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP), the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), DAERA in Northern Ireland, the Food Standards Agency, the Scottish and Welsh Governments and the other UK levy boards.

The Philippine food and drink sector is reported to be one of the major markets in South East Asia, and meat consumption in the country is expected to increase by 10% over the next five years.

The deal also reflects the UK Government’s commitment to increase the country’s exports.