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Deals with China Show Why Farming Matters

by 5m Editor
9 November 2010, at 10:27am

UK - Farming took a leading role on the international stage this week when three major deals were signed as part of the UK’s biggest-ever trade mission to China.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has put pen to paper on an agreement worth an estimated 345m which will allow the export of British breeding pigs to China, currently home to half of the world’s pig population. A second deal saw formal agreement of the health certificate for pig meat exports from the UK to China, opening up a huge market to approved UK plants.

And in a third move worth tens of millions of pounds, Chinese and British authorities struck an accord to ensure only whisky produced in Scotland will be marketed in China as Scotch. That agreement is expected to act as a catalyst for sales of home-grown barley.

An 380m Chinese market for Scotch is forecast to double in size during the next four to five years thanks to today's geographical indication registration.

Mr Cable is in China along with Chancellor George Osborne and 50 British business leaders as part of a high-profile UK government and trade mission. Up to 50 deals are thought to be on the table and the Prime Minister David Cameron will join the party today.

NFU comment

"We are delighted to see farming take such a central role in government talks with the world’s fastest-growing major economic power.

"This is very much in keeping with the messages of our The Recovery: Why Farming Matters document, which stressed the important role agriculture has to play in helping the wider UK economy towards recovery. It also clearly demonstrates why efforts to reduce costs must not damage the productivity of British agriculture."

Further Reading

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