British beef could be exported to China by the end of the year following an agreement reached on Monday 17 June between China and the UK.
Industry estimates put the value of access to the Chinese market at £230m for British business over the first five years.
Following the signing of the UK-China beef protocol, there are a number of steps that must now be taken to enable exports of UK beef.
UK factories will need to be registered and approved by Chinese authorities.
Completion of these steps will enable UK beef exports to China by the end of 2019.
The process to secure market access began in June 2018.
It is over 20 years since the Chinese government imposed its 1996 ban on UK beef imports.
UK farming minister Robert Goodwill said beef access was a major coup for the British farming industry.
He said it reflected the UK’s ambition to maximise trading opportunities after it leaves the EU.
This sentiment was echoed by the UK’s trade minister Liam Fox: “As we leave the European Union, we will continue to break down market access barriers to make it easier for UK businesses to trade across the world.”
China recently approved five British pork plants to export products to China and it expected that further plants will be approved by the end of 2019.