Eight leading meat producers from the United Kingdom (UK) are in the country to forge business partnerships and ventures, a move designed to augment market reach while extending their expertise to empower local producers.
The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, commenting on their visit said: “The UK’s agri-tech expertise is world-leading. It spans satellite farm networks, precision agriculture and engineering, crop protection, soil health, livestock productivity, health and welfare, and agri-data”.
Ghana is one of the largest importers of British meat outside the European Union (EU). Between 2019 and 2021, it was recorded to be the biggest importer of British beef-offal exports outside the EU, and also one of the main non-EU export destinations for British sheep meat.
The British High Commissioner envisaged that the expertise possessed by UK businesses can help the local agriculture sector achieve its potential, adding: “When you look at how much it already offers to Ghana’s economy in terms of GDP and employment opportunities, it is so important that the sector grows. And if you inject that expertise from the UK, we are going to see it take off”.
The High Commissioner was speaking at a ‘trade mission reception’ at her residence for the UK’s Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), and disclosed that trade relations between the two countries reached £2.4billion in 2021.
In view of this, she added, the ‘Business and Trade Team’ of the High Commission is focused on boosting the value reached. She said: “It is about two-way trade and not just about boosting British exports to Ghana. It is also, importantly, about boosting Ghanaian exports to the UK.
“Under our partnership agreement, there is duty-free and quota-free unlimited access to British markets for almost all products. With programmes like the Growth Gateway, there is a huge opportunity for Ghanaian producers to take advantage.”
She urged local producers to be ambitious in their business growth, and seek opportunities in the programmes and institutions that can help in this endeavour – like Growth Gateway, which offers tailored advice to businesses.
Growth Gateway is a UK government tool that provides free business support services for UK and African businesses to access the UK and African markets.
The British High Commissioner also entreated local businesses to look out for the UK-African Investment Summit, which is about harnessing the potential of relations across Africa to grow economies and make them stronger, resilient and innovative.
She added that agriculture will be highlighted as a crucial sector for economic growth, employment opportunities, building food security and tackling climate change.
Another event will be the Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association Show, or LAMMA, which she encouraged all Ghanaian stakeholders to take part in. LAMMA is the UK’s premier and largest exhibition for agricultural machinery, technology and equipment.
Members of the UK’s AHDB are in the country on a three-day trade mission. The delegation is expected to meet Ghanaian businesses to explore business partnerships.
It was in line with this that the trade mission reception was held to also provide an opportunity for visiting and local businesses to establish new relationships so as to promote trade and investment between Ghana and the UK, particularly in crop and livestock farming.
Also speaking at the trade mission reception, Halal Sector Manager of AHDB, Dr. Awal Fuseini who led the delegation said they had already established some positive meetings with local businesses following their visit.
He said meat products produced by the British companies are of good quality due to the high standards upheld by producers.
He was optimistic that the business-to-business (B2B) interactions will lead to many opportunities for both countries.