Pork and poultry exports to China given green light

Trade talks have officially opened up the lucrative Chinese market to pork exports, the Department of Trade and Industry has announced, with China also lifting a ban on British poultry exports.

David Cameron and Premier Wen of China have signed an agreement, which will allow five processing plants to start exporting pork to China. Bpex’s international manager Peter Hardwick said that this could provide a potential boost of up to £40m a year to the UK pig industry, depending on the how trade develops.

Yorkshire-based international pig genetics company JSR Genetics has already signed a million-pound deal to supply 800 breeding pigs to the Guangzhou Animal Husbandry Company in China to stock a new breeding nucleus farm.

Business Secretary Vince Cable paved the way for the trade deal in November last year, when he signed a formal agreement on health certificates for exports of pig meat with the Chinese authorities. Since then, five plants have been inspected and approved for export.

NPA executive director Stewart Houston said: “This is wonderful news and something we have been working towards for several years. The process has been a long one, but one of the milestones was the signing of the export health certificate agreement by Business Secretary Vince Cable and ministers from the Chinese quarantine inspectorate in November last year.

“Pork and pork product prices are currently at record levels in China. We have a fantastic opportunity to improve returns from selling all parts of the pig.

“This is much-needed as pig prices in this country still lag behind the cost of production caused by continuing high feed costs and other rising input prices.”

The reopening of the poultry market is estimated to be worth £10m to the UK, which will help to safeguard jobs.

>Bpex and BPA promote pork in China

>Export opportunities abound

>Vince Cable signs China pork deal