China visit to aid export drive

A delegation of Chinese veterinarians arrive in the UK today (2 September) for a visit which could open the door to an agreement on exporting pig meat to China.

A total of four vets from the Chinese Certification and Accreditation Administration will be in the UK until 11 September to witness British pork production from farm to abattoir, cutting plants and export cold stores.

The visit is one of the last links in the chain of accreditation for pork exports to China. BPEX director Mick Sloyan said: “This is the final hurdle and the conclusion of years of work to gain access to the Chinese market for pork.

“The Far East is already an important destination for British pork with exports, approaching £20 million a year. However, China is by far the largest and most attractive market and has a strong demand for cuts of pork that are less popular in Europe. After all, half the world’s pork is eaten in China.”

The group of vets will be hosted jointly by Defra, BPEX and Quality Meat Scotland as well as individual processing companies. They will be accompanied by a Defra veterinarian, a meat exporter and a translator and will visit five processors, a cold store, a pig farm and a laboratory in the next week.

Sloyan added: “We have been working closely with the Chinese authorities and gaining access to mainland China should be a valuable addition to our export business.”