Defra and Bpex ramp up Chinese export mission

Defra has ramped up its commitment to breaking into the lucrative export market with China, with Agriculture Minister Jim Paice joining Bpex chairman Stewart Houston and a trade delegation of British pig farmers to the Chinese market.

China offers huge opportunities for Britain’s farming, food and drink sector, and the mission is looking to build relationships with key retailers and importers to smooth the path for British producers exporting to the market. Jim Paice will meet key Chinese officials in Beijing to develop trade relationships and seek out further export opportunities. As well as promoting meat and fifth-quarter products, the delegation will also promote British businesses that offer high-quality breeding pigs, along with the skills and technologies to support breeding programmes.

Last August, a Chinese delegation visited the UK to acquire new breeding stock. Chinese demand for pork is booming, and although the country produces 46m tons a year, demand outstrips supply. The growing aspirational middle class are increasingly recognising the high quality of foreign food and drink, and sales are on the rise in Chinese supermarkets.  

Paice said: “Food and farming already plays a vital role in the UK economy, but I believe there are still huge opportunities for growth in emerging markets like China.
“We need to keep ahead of the game by developing strong trade relationships with the world’s second-largest economy. That’s why I’ve made this trade mission a priority.
“China wants what Britain has to offer – outstanding food and drink, high-quality animals for breeding and farming skills and expertise that are second to none.

“Pork is the fashionable meat of choice for the Chinese and, with a growing population with more money in their pockets, the demand for pork is booming.

“And while the trade in breeding pigs is worth millions to the UK economy each year, the skills and technologies we sell to support breeding programmes has the potential to be even more lucrative.”

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