Access to the Mexican market could be worth up to £ 50million for UK pork producers in the first five years, according to a UK levy body.
Mexico is the second Latin American market to open up access to British pork, after the Dominican Republic.
The news comes just days after UK government figures showed the total value of UK pork exports fell by over £ 4million in the first half of the year.
According to the latest figures from Revenue and Customs, a total of 177,638t of pork was exported from the UK, worth around £ 304million in the first half of 2021. However, both figures are down by compared to the previous year.
Increased demand from non-EU countries led to an increase in other exports of 20,029 t (up 19.5%). However, this was not enough to compensate for the reduction in the volume of EU buyers, which fell by 35%.
Access to the Mexican market
According to the Agriculture and Horticultural Development Council, access to the Mexican market alone is estimated at £ 50million for UK pork producers in the first five years of commercialization.
Today’s announcement follows more than four years of negotiations and inspections. Mexico’s National Department of Agricultural and Food Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) inspected several premises in the UK in February 2020, leading to a decision to approve four processing facilities and four warehouses. associated refrigerators in England and Wales.
The pig will join a wide range of livestock genetics that the UK has already exported to Mexico. Access to bovine embryos has been secured in 2020, joining bovine semen, a market worth over £ 130,000 a year for the past five years. In addition, Mexico is also a well established market for British sheep genetics.
Defra Secretary of State George Eustice said: “It is great to see another market opening its doors to high quality, high welfare UK products.
“Access to the Mexican market, with its substantial demand for high quality pork, will be a welcome boost for our pig breeders and producers.
“This is an important development, which will strengthen our global reputation for quality food and drink. “
UK Deputy Chief Veterinarian Dr Richard Irvine said: “The UK takes pride in our high standards of food safety and the quality of the food we are able to produce.
“Accessing the export of British pork to Mexico represents another success for the UK industry and continues to enhance our global reputation for excellence. ”
UK negotiates free trade deal with Mexico
The UK and Mexico have pledged to start negotiating an ambitious new free trade agreement this year, which Defra says will “go much further” than the existing agreement.
These negotiations follow the United Kingdom’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), an increasingly influential trading network of 11 dynamic economies stretching from the Indo-Pacific region to the Americas.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “This is a huge victory for our farmers and food producers and I look forward to seeing high quality British pork being tasted in Mexico very soon.
“British businesses can look forward to the benefits of an ambitious new trade deal with Mexico, which we will negotiate this year, and victories like these are an important step towards our membership in the CPTPP which will see our global trade reach new heights. ”