Mexico permits UK pork exports for the first time13 Sep 2021
British pork producers now have access to export to the Mexican market for the first time, following a new trade deal announced by the U.K. government on September 2. Over the course of five years, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board estimates that this trade deal will be worth £50 million ($69.2 million).
The two governments struck this deal following four years of negotiations and inspections of British facilities by the Mexican government. In February 2020, the Mexican National Department for Health, Safety and Agricultural and Food Quality (SENASICA) inspected numerous premises throughout the U.K., leading to a decision to approve four processing facilities and four associated cold stores in England and Wales.
In a statement, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the development was a 'huge win' for the country's farmers and food producers.
Following the exit of the U.K. from the European Union, farmers and producers have seen significant sales declines. According to data from the U.K. Food & Drink Federation, the U.K. lost £2 billion of overall food and drink sales in the first half of 2021, and the largest losses in sales occurred in meat with beef exports were down 37%.
Having another market open to exports will help offset the incurred losses. Already, sales of U.K. food and drink to non-European markets gained 13% in the first half of the year to comprise 46.6% of total food and drink exports. In 2020, U.K. pork was exported to 75 different markets at a value of more than £421m. However, despite increased sales in the same period to non-EU countries including China and Australia, the gains remained insufficient to offset the damage done to exports by Brexit.
In an effort to rebuild its exports, the U.K. has committed to negotiating with Mexico to achieve a free trade agreement this year, but there is not yet information on what such a deal would entail. The U.K. government said that such an agreement would go “much further” than the current trade deal.
In the meantime, pork exports to Mexico will complement the broad range of livestock genetics that the UK already successfully exports to Mexico, which the government said was worth £130,000 (~$180,000) annually over the last five years.
“Mexican consumers can enjoy these quality British products – and UK pork exporters have access to this important and growing market. Another success in our campaign to reduce barriers to trade between our countries,” Jonathan Knott, the Trade Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean said.
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