UK to start shipping pork products to China

The UK has been given the green light to ship pork products to China, according to the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board’s exports division (AHDB Exports).

The approved producer has received official notification to start supplying pigs’ trotters to China, following a successful inspection by Chinese authorities.

Two further facilities in Northern Ireland have also received the first-ever approval to export all cuts of pork, including trotters.

Market access to the country was first announced in August, with AHDB identifying China as a “very high” potential market for UK pig meat exports. It is already the UK’s biggest customer outside the EU, importing 40,000 tonnes (t) of UK pork and 36,000t of UK offal in 2016. AHDB sees particular benefit to the industry in exporting the so-called ‘fifth quarter’ – products that have limited value in the UK, but are prized in the Chinese market.

Dr Phil Hadley, international market development director, said: “I am delighted that we have secured this latest opportunity in what has been a long-term project involving collaboration across industry and government.

“This is a significant step forward in our ambitions for China and stands to have a huge impact on the whole supply chain.”

The announcement comes after a lengthy process of technical negotiations, led by AHDB, in collaboration with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Food Standards Agency (FSA), UKECL and the wider industry, to demonstrate equivalence of animal health and hygiene standards.

Mike Sheldon, chair of the AHDB Pork board, added: “I welcome today’s announcement. This is a fantastic opportunity for the industry to tap into one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. This news bears testament to the high standards, quality and safety of UK pork production.”

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