Monday, July 15, 2019

Industry’s plan to increase pork exports to Asia

July 2, 2019 by  
Filed under Livestock

British pork was showcased at China’s most important meat trade exhibition – as the industry looks to build on record levels of exports in 2018.

It follows an incredible year for global pig meat exports, with the UK shipping a record total of 347,000 tonnes, worth around £490m – an increase of 12,000 tonnes and £19m compared to the previous year.

Pork from Britain is now exported to around 97 countries. China is among the biggest buyers in – taking 7,800 tonnes of pig meat in January 2019. The industry hopes to ramp up exports in the wake of the Chinese African swine fever crisis, which has devastated local production.

China has been battling to contain the virus since it was discovered in the country for the first time last August. Cases have also been confirmed in central and eastern Europe – with the virus reaching Belgium in September and Poland in June.

Key focus

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board representatives were among those attending the SIAL China exhibition in May, supporting the UK pig sector as it looks to grow exports, not only to China but across all Asian markets.

AHDB head of Asia Pacific Jonathan Eckley said: “Despite a challenging start to the year, an increase in demand resulted in a strong year for UK pork exports with encouraging figures both within the EU and further afield in destinations such as the USA, China and the Philippines.

“The Asian market is a key focus for our export work – it is a region which is experiencing extraordinary growth both in terms of population and affluence.

“While it presents many possibilities for our red meat sector, it is not without its challenges. Therefore, it’s crucial that we have a strong presence in the region in order to capitalise on the opportunity it holds.”

With 3,500 exhibitors expected at this year’s event, SIAL China provided British pork producers with the opportunity to build new and existing relationships with major players from the retail and food service sector, said the AHDB.

The current situation on the domestic Chinese market was driving demand for imported pig meat, said Mr Eckley. “SIAL China provides a perfect platform to exhibit our quality offering to the rest of the world,” he added.”

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