Mexico opens doors to UK pork in deal worth £50m

British farmers can now tap into the Mexican market, which boasts demand for high quality pork meat
British farmers can now tap into the Mexican market, which boasts demand for high quality pork meat

Mexico has officially opened its doors to British pork for the first time in a deal that could be worth £50 million over the first five years of trade.

It follows over four years of negotiations and inspections by the Mexican National Department for Health, Safety and Agricultural and Food Quality (SENASICA).

The body inspected numerous UK premises, which led to a decision to approve four processing facilities and four associated cold stores in England and Wales.

Mexico is the second Latin American market open for British pork, after the Dominican Republic.

Global UK pork exports were worth over £421 million to the economy in 2020, reaching 75 export markets worldwide.

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

The development will be seen as positive news for UK food and drink exports, following access given for UK beef to the US, UK poultry, beef and lamb to Japan, and pork to Taiwan.

Defra Secretary of State George Eustice said it was 'great' to see another market open its doors to 'high quality, high welfare UK produce'.

“Access to the Mexican market, with its substantial demand for high-quality pork, will be a welcome boost for our pig farmers and producers.

“This is a significant development, which will reinforce our global reputation for quality food and drink."

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss added that the development was a 'huge win' for the country's farmers and food producers.

“British businesses can look forward to the benefits of a new and ambitious trade agreement with Mexico which we will be negotiating this year," she said.

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, UK cattle breeds are helping to develop Mexican herds.

In addition, the UK has a well-established ovine genetics export market, with award-winning rams and ewes being bred in Mexico.