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Brechin site granted China export approval

14th Oct 2019 / By Alistair Driver

Around 50 tonnes of pork will be shipped to China each week from Quality Pork Ltd's (QPL) Brechin site, after the plant was granted Chinese export approval.

brechin signFollowing a strict approval process involving Defra and the Scottish Government, Brechin invested in the site, with support from key partner Tulip, to ensure it met the high export standards required. The plant has increased its packaging capabilities, while also enhancing the security and fencing of the site.

The Brechin approval is one of a number of recent UK plant approvals, as China looks to the global marketplace to fill the massive hole in its pork production caused by the African swine fever outbreak. According to a Scotlean market report, with the recent approvals of Brechin and Tulip’s Westerley plant, there will be nine plants among the big three UK pork processors with approval to supply ‘5th quarter’ cuts, trotters, primals and pigmeat into China. 

George Taylor, site general manager for Quality Pork Processors (QPP) Brechin, said the plant will initially be supplying pork by-products, but is exploring exporting more primal cuts to China in the coming months.

"This opportunity to supply products direct to China will safeguard the future of the Brechin site for the long-term, ensuring we’re competitive with other UK abattoirs, while will also leading to job creation opportunities in the year ahead," he said.

Andy McGowan, chief executive of Scottish Pig Producers, said: “This is testament to what farmers, QPL, Tulip Ltd and multiple government agencies can achieve when we all work together and was one of the major objectives of the Scottish Pig Industry Strategy launched last year. We look forward to this additional export value created bringing benefits to all in the supply chain.”

Brechin processes approximately 5,500 pigs and 300 sows per week and employs 90 staff.

Official figures from China show the national pig herd had declined by 32% year-on-year by July, with an estimated 100 million pigs lost already. Rabobank is forecasting that, by the end of the year, China’s pig herd will have halved.

You can read Pig World's special feature on the impact of ASF in Asia on the global pork market here