The UK government has today (18 May) announced a GBP50m (US$79m) deal to sell British pork to China, as part of wider plans to boost trade for British food and farming businesses.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said most of the pork will be offal, trotters and ears, which is more popular with Chinese consumers than British.
Chinese consumption of meat is increasing but domestic supply cannot meet demand. The British pig industry estimates trade in British pork with China will soon be worth more than GBP50m a year.
Agriculture Minister Jim Paice said: “China is the most lucrative grocery market in the world and from fashion to food its rapidly expanding middle class has an appetite for western goods.
“In particular they are eating more meat, and our top quality producers have got huge opportunities to meet that demand and help our economic recovery.”
British Pig Executive (BPEX) chairman Stewart Houston said the process has taken time but it will “prove to be extremely worthwhile”.
The first consignment of British pork is ready to be dispatched by Tulip, the UK’s biggest producer, which is owned by Danish co-op Danish Crown.
Meanwhile, Defra said it is looking to use the experience of developing this trade deal to open up markets for other British products and services.