Breaking down food export barriers to China
Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice has recently visited China on a mission to open up trade for Britain’s farming, food and drink sector.
“Food and farming already plays a vital role in the UK economy but I believe there are still great opportunities for growth in emerging markets like China," he explained. "We need to keep ahead of the game by developing strong trade relationships with the world’s second largest economy."
China’s growing middle class is increasingly buying foreign food and drink, seeing it as aspirational and recognising its high quality.
Whether it is Scotch whisky or frozen lobster, artisan crisps or malt drinks, an increasing number of British favourites are becoming supermarket staples, the Minister claimed.
He was looking to build relationships with key retailers and importers to smooth the path for British producers looking to make their mark in China. At the same time he was also promoting high quality breeding pigs from UK producers.
China is the world's biggest market for pig meat and, at the end of his visit, the Minister announced a £50 million trade deal to sell British pork.
As well as the trade in breeding pigs, Mr Paice promoted the skills and technologies available in the UK to support breeding programmes, which have the potential to be even more lucrative.