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China's appetite a boost for UK pig farmers

By BO LEUNG | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-08-15 17:05

 British farmers will soon benefit from a major export deal with China as the United Kingdom's pork industry taps into growing demand in China for British produce.

Seven businesses in England and Northern Ireland will now export pork products to China, including three producers that will, in a UK first, trade trotters, which are a delicacy in China.

The deal for market access was made between the UK government and China's Certification and Accreditation Administration, as well as the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The UK's food and farming minister, George Eustice, said the deal means a 200 million pound ($259 million) boost for the UK's food industry and support for 1,500 jobs.

According to the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), demand for British pork has doubled in value in the last three years. Nine producers already export to China, with pork products sold there worth 43 million pounds last year.

"China is a hugely important market for our world-class food industry and, by opening up access even further, more UK businesses can take advantage of the growing appetite for our food and drink," Eustice said.

The deal means Northern Ireland will, for the first time, be able to take advantage of the growing demand in China for British food and drink. The agreement includes approval to export from three sites in Suf olk, Lincolnshire, and Derbyshire.

With China's middle-income population on the rise, industry experts believe demand for beef, pork, and poultry from the world's second-largest economy will remain strong. Northern Ireland welcomed the new agreement, where the devolved administration worked alongside Defra and the local pork industry to gain access to China.

Robert Huey, Northern Ireland's chief veterinary officer, said: "This is very welcome news for the Northern Ireland pig sector and for our wider agri-food industry and I look forward to the commencement of exports to China. The deal represents a major boost, worth in excess of 10 million pounds for the local pork industry."

The announcement comes after it was revealed that UK food and drinks exports reached 10 billion pounds ($13 billion) in the first half of this year.

China is one of the key markets in the UK's International Action Plan for Food and Drink, which will see the British government and industry work together to boost food and drink exports during the coming five years.


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