British pork heads to Chile to fulfil first order since deal struck

The UK pig industry is able to export products to Chile for the first time, as part of a deal worth around £20m over the first five years
The UK pig industry is able to export products to Chile for the first time, as part of a deal worth around £20m over the first five years

British pork is heading to Chile this month to fulfil the first commercial order since market access was granted earlier this year.

The UK’s largest pork processor Cranswick is in the process of preparing the first shipments, which will leave its plant in Hull early next week.

It follows a new agreement announced in March which granted market access for 27 pork processing sites in the UK, enabling the first ever exports of pork products to this new and potentially lucrative market.

The UK has an association agreement with Chile, which largely maintains prior preferential trading arrangements and rules of origin.

This means that UK pork exporters can benefit from the import tariff under the Most Favoured Nation tariff of six percent, subject to certain conditions.

AHDB estimates Chile market access could be worth up to £20 million over the first five years of trade.

A spokesman from Cranswick said: “We have received our first order for British pork which will be shipped to a customer in Chile this month.

“As the largest processor of pork in the UK, it is imperative we continue to have access to new and emerging international markets.

"We welcome this access agreement between the UK and Chile. We continue to work closely with AHDB to identify and develop new market opportunities.”

Pork production in Chile remained stagnant last year, with imports rising year after year for the last decade due to increased demand.

As the second most consumed meat in Chile, consumption is expected to increase steadily, reaching an estimated 26.8kg per capita by 2029.

The deal came hot on the heels of securing new market access to Mexico, a market which is believed to be worth up to £50m to pork producers during the first five years of trade.

Access to both markets was secured through collaborative working between AHDB, Defra, the UK Export Certification Partnership and wider industry.

AHDB’s international market development director, Dr Phil Hadley said: “We are delighted to see the first shipments of pork heading to Chile following the market access win earlier in the year.

“Chilean consumers will now be able to enjoy pork from the UK and our exporters have access to another important and growing market, bringing a much-needed boost to the UK’s pork sector.

“As part of our strategy, AHDB will continue to identify new opportunities overseas and work with government to help our red meat processors export more products around the world.”