The inspectors spent two weeks visiting abattoirs and processors to learn more about the country’s pork production controls.
They also met with pork processors Cranswick, Karro and Tulip, as well as viewing several cold storage facilities across the country.
The inspections formed part of ongoing work by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in partnership with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and other organisations.
AHDB said that Mexico represented a major opportunity for the UK’s pork sector as it was the second-largest importer of pork – accounting for 9% of total international trade.
In 2018, the country imported 1.2m tonnes of pig meat, three-quarters of which was fresh/frozen primary pork.
The US is the dominant supplier, providing around 85% of imports – with the majority of the remainder coming from Canada. The rest was mostly offal. A few EU suppliers played a small part, with 8,500 tonnes of pig meat imported from Spain in 2018.
AHDB international market development director Dr Phil Hadley said: “The Mexican market represents a major opportunity for the UK pork sector, with a rise in consumption and demand currently outstripping production capabilities.
“We are confident this inspection will be another step forward in the UK’s ambition to access this important market and build on our already impressive pork export figures.”
The visit was part-financed from the £2m fund of AHDB red meat levies ring-fenced for collaborative projects, which is managed by Britain’s three meat levy bodies: AHDB, Hybu Cig Cymru and Quality Meat Scotland.
AHDB said the fund was an interim arrangement, while a long-term solution was sought on the issue of levies being collected at point of slaughter in England for animals that had been reared in Scotland and Wales.