Taiwan is preparing to welcome UK pork exports for the first time in a deal that is expected to be worth £50 million to the British pork industry over the next five years.

UK pork exports were worth £290 million to the UK economy last year, reaching over 80 export markets. Exporters can take advantage of the Taiwan market as soon as the administrative listing process is completed and export certification is made available.

The deal also means UK exporters can further tap into the overseas demand for parts of the pig carcass that are not commonly purchased in the UK, such as offal. This means UK farmers and pork processors will be able to generate income for the whole carcass.

The eagerly awaited deal has been secured by the UK government, working with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP).

It follows a number of recent successes for UK food exports, which reached a record level of £22 billion in 2017. Last month, China lifted its two-decade long ban on UK beef exports following the BSE outbreak. The agreement will allow official market access negotiations to begin, estimated to be worth over £250million in the first five years alone.

Food Minister George Eustice said: “Access to this new market in Taiwan is great news for our farmers and producers and gives a welcome boost to the pork production industry – already worth £1.3 billion to the UK economy.

“This is a significant development for pork exporters and reinforces our reputation for producing high quality food and drink, guaranteeing quality from farm to fork.”

AHDB international market development director, Dr. Phil Hadley, said: “We estimate the value to the UK to be in excess of £50m based on current UK export capacity but if this were to rise to match the strong demand for pork imports in Taiwan, where last year alone imports rose by 26% to US$178.3m, the opportunity could be worth more than £100m over the next five years. This is an exciting development and a great step forward for the UK and Taiwan.”