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NPA responds to South Korea consultation

6th Feb 2023 / By Charlie Dewhirst

The NPA has responded to the Department for International Trade’s call for input on trade with South Korea ahead of negotiations on a new free trade agreement.

South Korea is a very significant pork market, not just in Asia but globally. Pork is the number one protein for Korean consumers and they have the third highest consumption per capita on earth. Its pig meat imports are increasing and there is continued growth in meat consumption.

The country has a population of more than 50 million people and, therefore, presents an enormous opportunity for the UK pork sector, particularly as we already have market access and a continuity trade agreement that has allowed trade to continue after the UK’s exit from the EU.

In 2021 South Korea imported 465,000 tonnes of pig meat but UK exports only accounted for 3,999 tonnes of that (0.86%). Clearly there is an opportunity to increase UK export volumes and this will be aided by the recent inclusion of bacon, ham, and pork sausages onto the approved product list.

We are urging the Government to support a wide variety of export markets, including South Korea, to ensure we are able to recover as much of the value of the carcass as possible and to provide the resilience the UK pig sector needs.

In addition, the new Department for International Trade agri-food attachés will hopefully play a role in building new relationships with Korean importers.

The NPA will continue to work with Defra and the Department for International Trade as negotiations progress and we aim to secure South Korea as an increasingly important trading partner for pork.