UK lamb could be back on the menu in Saudi Arabia as authorities have this week lifted the 20 year long ban on sheep meat from the UK, which was put in place after the BSE crisis.
Exports could begin as early as next month once export certification is finalised and released.
The agreement, worth around £25m over the next five years, comes following ongoing negotiations and inspections carried out jointly by Defra, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), FSA, UKECP, DAERA and APHA.
It means that sheep farmers and meat producers will be able to take advantage of the increasing demand for UK food and drink in Saudi Arabia, where total UK exports were worth more than £152m last year. Top exports in 2017 included sweet biscuits (£13m), chocolate (£10.9m), butter (£6m) and cheese (£5.1m).
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.”