A successful close working relationship between Defra and UK livestock and livestock product exporters has existed since 2002.
Under its different guises the partnership has operated successfully sharing resources and responsibility for:
- prioritisation of certification activity.
- face-to-face meetings with veterinary authorities in priority countries.
- drafting export health certificates and all their associated paperwork.
- answering questionnaires from countries who require an import risk assessment be conducted before they accept the import of UK animal/animal products.
- organising and facilitating inward missions. These missions are sometimes part of inward risk assessments and sometimes are required to maintain ongoing access to certain export markets.
- briefing on negotiations to access export markets.
The success of the partnership approach led to introduction of the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) launched on 28 October 2008.
UKECP’s work currently covers the following commodities:
- Livestock for breeding – pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and camelids
- Livestock genetic material (i.e. semen, embryos and ova) from the species listed above.
- Fresh meat – i.e. produce from a slaughterhouse, cold store or cutting plant before it becomes a product or preparation (before any curing, smoking etc. has taken place) from the species listed above, that is destined for human consumption.
In terms of livestock exports, UKECP deals with export health certificates for the export of livestock for breeding purposes only. Exporters of livestock for production or slaughter should contact the APHA Centre for International Trade – Carlisle.
A not for profit private company limited by guarantee, Export Certification Ltd (ECL), carries out the Industry functions of the UKECP partnership. ECL is funded by a wide range of companies and individuals from across the whole of the United Kingdom including
- Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)
- Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC)
- Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC)
- Quality Meat Scotland (QMS)
As well as these industry bodies UKECP also work closely with the following:
- Food Standards Agency
- Welsh Government
- Scottish Government
- Food Standards Scotland
- Department for Rural Development, Northern Ireland
- British Pig Association (BPA)
- NI Meat Exporters Association
- International Meat Trade Association
- NI Pork and Bacon Forum
- Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
- UK bovine, ovine and porcine breeders and genetics companies
- UK Bovine and Ovine breed societies
- Meat and meat product processors across the UK
- UK Export Agents
ECL currently has four directors representing the various sectors covered by the partnership:
Marcus Bates – representing the pig sector (and ECL Chairman)
Phil Hadley - representing the meat sector
Peter Hardwick – representing the meat sector
Henry Lewis – representing the sheep and goats, camelids and breeding cattle
Andrew Taylor – representing the bovine semen and embryo sector (and ECL Veterinary Director)
Martin Williams – representing the meat sector.