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Trade Deal with China Boosts UK Pig Industry

by 5m Editor
1 September 2008, at 9:30am

UK - British Pig Association (BPA) chairman, Robert Overend, has stated that the recently agreed trade deal between China and the UK, which will open the door to exports from Northern Ireland to the world's largest market for pork products, has the potential to lift local farmgate pig prices by as much as seven pence per kilo.

"BPA executives have been working with British Embassy officials in Beijing for weeks in order to prepare the ground for this exciting breakthrough," added the Bellaghy-based pedigree pig producer.

"The market for pork in China is immense. What's more, the Chinese eat every bit of the pig including offals, intestines and all the other parts of what's called the fifth quarter. All of this material is presently deemed to be waste within the EU and must be disposed off at a significant cost to local processers, one which is taken off the price paid to producers.

"However, the trade deal with China has the potential to put a significant value on every part of every pig slaughtered and processed here in Northern Ireland. Conservative estimates put the benefit which could be accrued by farmers at between five and seven pence per kilo."

The BPA chairman pointed out that the trade deal, signed in Beijing against the backdrop of the Olympic Games, will definitely include Northern Ireland.

"There are no obstacles at all which will prevent our processers from putting pork products on to the Chinese market," he explained.

"Each of our export processing plants meets the Chinese standards in full. The same also holds for our animal health standards and the conditions prevailing on pig farms in Northern Ireland.

"I would, therefore, encourage all our pig processing companies to make enquiries now about the export opportunities presented by the Chinese market."

Robert Overend also confirmed that Chinese inspectors will inspect all relevant processing operations prior to the commencement of exports, according to Farming Life.

"But we have nothing at all to fear in this regard," he stressed. On the subject of Northern Ireland's animal health status, the BPA chairman indicated that Aujeszky's Disease has now been effectively eradicated in the Province and that approaches will be made to Brussels in the very near future to obtain official EU accreditation for Northern Ireland as an Aujeszky's-free region.

"This is a tremendous step forward for the local pig industry," he said.

"And it's thanks to all the hard work put in by pig farmers across Northern Ireland that we have arrived at this point. And with it comes the reward of securing access to lucrative markets for our pork products in countries right around the world. Hopefully, the trade deal with China is just a foretaste of what is to come!"

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

5m Editor