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New export opportunities as Mexico opens its doors to UK pork

2nd Sep 2021 / By Alistair Driver

In some welcome good news, Mexico has officially given the green light to British pork exports for the first time.

According to AHDB, access to the Mexican market alone is estimated to be worth £50 million to UK pork producers over the first five years of trade.

Four processing facilities and four associated cold stores in England and Wales have been approved for export. This follows more than 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 in February 2020 and received various presentations on the UK pork sector, including from the NPA

Ministers said British pork exporters will now be able tap into this brand-new market, which boasts high demand for high quality pork meat.

NPA senior policy adviser Charlie Dewhirst welcomed the announcement. "This is something we asked the Government for in our trade submission on Mexico, so we are pleased to see this announcement, which will bring some fresh opportunities for UK pork producers," he said.

"We hope that negotiations for a new trade deal with Mexico will bring further opportunities through lower tariffs and SPS access for fifth quarter cuts.”

NPA Mexico submission

In the NPA's submission on Mexico, we said Mexico represents 'a significant market opportunity for UK exporters'.

Mexico is the eighth largest consumer of pork, and, as consumption significantly outstrips production, the second largest importer of pigmeat, importing over 1Mt annually prior to the COVID pandemic.

Mexico is the seventh largest pork producer globally, producing an average of 1.4Mt per year (2017-2020), but is also a major global consumer, with an average domestic consumption of 2.1Mt (2017-2020).

The market is worth close to £1bn and is dominated by imports from the USA and Canada, which combined makes up more than 98%.

Mexico could therefore represent an important market for the UK pork sector, and a UK-Mexico FTA could seek to develop new opportunities for the UK pork sector in the Mexican market, where exports have been restricted due to the lack of SPS authorisations and high tariffs.

  • You can read more reaction on this development HERE