By the time you read this, both US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron will be recovering from jetlag, following visits to India and China respectively. Both know that, to win re-election in 2012 and 2015, they need to have their economies in better shape than the ones they inherited and that means trade and jobs. That is why Obama and Cameron have made these trips; East is where the money is at the moment and, for the UK pork industry, the deal made with China is fantastic news.
Anyone who went to the recent fifth-quarter conference or has talked with pork processors about exports will know that the Chinese eat absolutely everything porcine, from the snout to the tail. And UK processors have a wonderful opportunity to sell these products if they take the plunge and increase their supplier base.
By the end of this century, the US could quite possibly be a junior partner to the Chinese in terms of the global meat industry, and India will not be far behind. With companies such as Shineway Industrial Group and People's Food Holdings aiming to overtake the Americans in terms of worldwide meat dominance one day, the meat industries of these two countries are getting bigger and bigger. As we speak, Indian poultry producer Venkys is dotting the i's and crossing the t's on a deal to buy UK Premiership football club Blackburn Rovers and, who knows, if the Asian chicken firm gets a taste of financial success with the Rovers team, maybe it will want to join in with the Brazilians and start buying out UK poultry processors.
The Chinese also know that, in the future, they will have many more mouths to feed than they currently do. Channel 4's recent broadcast, What the Green Movement Got Wrong, revealed some startling facts about what the Chinese are doing at the moment in terms of GM food research even developing a crop that can survive flooding by holding its breath for two weeks. If there were any more evidence needed that China, India and even Brazil have the potential to dominate the world economy in the next few decades, than this is it.
01 - 03 November, 2016
China Foodtech 2017
07 November, 2016
Butcher’s Shop of the Year
01 December, 2016, 8:30 - 13:30
Policy priorities for the UK food, drink and farming industry