Wednesday, 7 May 2014


Flickr: Marko Kudjerski

BBC Business reported recently that the fastest growing sector in the UK is Food and Drink with exports of pork to China growing particularly fast.

China's imports of U.K food rose 82 percent in 2013 from 2012, driven by sales of pork and salmon, making the world's second largest economy a prime market for British food exports outside the European Union.

The value of British food and soft drinks exports to China rose from £92 million in 2012 to £201 million in 2013, according to the UK Food and Drink Federation. The Financial Times reported that this was a positive step forward for the British government's bid to reduce the country's trade deficit by boosting exports.

A large part of the rise is due to the near doubling of sales of pork and salmon in past year after the 2011 decision from the Chinese food safety agency to allow the import of both products.

Terry Jones, head of communications at the FDF reported "There is a strong demand for pork in China, and consumers like parts of the animal that we don't consume, such as whole pig heads and trotters."

 Salmon is also on the rise as Scottish Salmon exports grew by 90 percent.

The UK is also hoping to expand the market of unused animal parts such as chicken feet, which would add 15 percent revenue on each chicken. Officials are negotiating with Chinese authorities to allow farmers to export chicken feet, millions of which would have gone to waste.

China represents a potentially lucrative market for the UK but small food companies should remain cautious. Terry Jones says "Although a lot of effort has gone into exports to China, it remains a difficult country for small food companies because of its size and the difference in laws between provinces."

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