New £200M pork export deal will ‘support 1,500 jobs’

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The UK has secured a £200M pork export deal with China
The UK has secured a £200M pork export deal with China

Related tags International trade

Food manufacturers are set to benefit from a new £200M export deal with China, supporting 1,500 jobs in the pork industry, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Market access has been secured for seven unnamed businesses across the UK to export pork to China, said DEFRA, including three producers that will ship pig trotters – a first for the UK.

The deal followed a growing demand for UK food and drink, with total value of exports rising by a third to £438M last year.

Food minister George Eustice said: “China is a hugely important market for our world-class food industry. By opening up access, more UK businesses can take advantage of the growing appetite for our food and drink.

‘Creating more jobs’

“British food is produced to the very best standards of welfare, quality and safety and this growth in exports to China is creating more jobs and opportunities for our premium pork producers who can guarantee quality from farm to fork.”

Food Xport Conference

Takes place on Thursday October 5 at Ardencote Manor in Warwickshire. See box below for more details. 

Demand for UK pork has doubled in terms of value over the last three years. Nine producers already export to China and generated £43M in sales last year.

The deal will also see pork products exported from Northern Ireland to China for the first time.

Northern Ireland’s chief veterinary officer Robert Huey said the deal represented a £10M boost to the local pork industry.

“This is very welcome news for the Northern Ireland pig sector and for our wider agri-food industry and I look forward to the commencement of exports to China,”​ said Huey.

‘Safe and efficient food supply’

“We place a clear emphasis on traceability at the heart of our production and processing and recognise that a joined up, safe and efficient food supply is essential.”

The China export agreement closely followed the UK’s £34M deal with the Philippines,​ which will see UK beef shipped to the country for the first time in more than 20 years.

Commenting on the two export deals, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s international market development director Dr Phil Hadley said it was a testament to the work done to promote the UK food industry on the “global stage”.

“We are absolutely delighted this new deal has been agreed with China, which will support jobs and create opportunities for UK pork producers for years to come,” ​added Hadley.

China is one of the key markets in the government’s International Action Plan for Food and Drink, which would see it working with industry to boost food and drink exports over the next five years.

William Reed’s one-day export conference

William Reed’s Food Xport Conference on Thursday October 5 at the Ardencote Manor, Warwickshire, will arm delegates with advice and best practice and is aimed at businesses starting out on an export journey, as well as those companies seeking expansion in new global markets.

The day comprises four sessions that will cover: Identifying your potential for growth, How to organise your UK business to drive export, World Trade Organisation Rules and What can be learned from food and drink manufacturers trading profitably overseas.

Click here to book your place.

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