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Mexico greenlights UK pork exports for the first time

Mexico is now open to British pork exports for the first time, with UK officials expecting a boost of £50 million in the first five years of trade.

3 September 2021, at 7:30am

British farmers and food producers are set to benefit from access to a valuable new market, as Mexico has now officially opened its doors to British pork for the first time. British exporters can now tap into this brand-new market, which boasts high demand for high quality pork meat.

Global UK pork exports were worth over £421 million to our economy in 2020, reaching 75 export markets worldwide. According to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, access to the Mexican market alone is estimated to be worth £50 million to UK pork producers over the first five years of trade.

This is another success for UK food and drink exports, following successes in gaining access for UK beef to the USA, UK poultry, beef and lamb to Japan, and pork to Taiwan.

As a world leader in animal welfare, UK pork is globally recognised for its provenance, quality and traceability. Through the GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland campaign, the UK government aims to raise the international profile and reputation of food and drink from across the UK and help more food and drink companies export their produce abroad.

This development follows over four years of negotiations and inspections. The Mexican National Department for Health, Safety and Agricultural and Food Quality (SENASICA) inspected numerous premises throughout the UK during a visit which occurred in February 2020, which led to a decision to approve four processing facilities and four associated cold stores in England and Wales.

These inspections were led by Defra and the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) and hosted by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), with support from UK national and devolved government departments and agencies, including DIT Mexico.

The UK and Mexico have committed to begin negotiating a new and ambitious free trade agreement this year, which will go much further than the existing deal. These negotiations will complement our accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific partnership (CPTPP), an increasingly influential trade network of 11 dynamic economies spanning from the Indo-Pacific region to the Americas.

AHDB International Market Development Director Dr Phil Hadley said:

"This announcement is a fantastic boost for the UK’s pork industry and offers another potential export market for our red meat during a challenging year. Pork from the UK is trusted and favoured worldwide due to its exceptional quality, high welfare and food safety standards. This new approval will offer a wealth of opportunities for our exporters and is a testament to the hard work of industry and government to open new markets as we look to the future."

Pork will join a broad range of livestock genetics that the UK already successfully exports to Mexico. Access for bovine embryos was secured in 2020, joining bovine semen, a market worth over £130,000 annually over the last five years. Consequently, our high-quality cattle breeds are helping to develop Mexican herds. In addition, we have a well-established ovine genetics export market from the UK, with award-winning rams and ewes being bred in Mexico.