Speaking to GlobalMeatNews, Peter Hardwick, international manager of AHDB Exports, a division of the UK red meat levy board, said that although no formal approaches had been made to Mexico to begin trade talks, several British producers were interested in the market.
“Some of our exporters have expressed an interest - possibly an opportunistic one and one we’d like to look at. We don’t have access currently, so that would need to be secured.”
UK on ‘cusp’ of US market access
He said that if the UK were to pursue the Mexican market, existing relationships with its fellow North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) members might help. “The fact that we are on the cusp of securing access to the US market and we have access to the Canadian market means that two of the three NAFTA partners will be trading with us and we think that won’t be unhelpful in terms of discussing ruminant meat to Mexico.”
Hardwick added that there was a range of opportunities in the country for pork produce and that British producers needed to get involved if they wanted to take advantage. “It’s a good spread of opportunities, from value to premium. Markets come and go a bit, and a market that may have attracted interest one year may not do so next year. The problem is that you cannot take advantage of this opportunity if you don’t have access.”
Currently the US is a key exporter of pork to Mexico. According to the United States Meat Export Federation, in August of this year, pork exports to Mexico rose in volume terms year-on-year to 65,037 metric tonnes. Export value also increased to $129.6 million. In the year to August, exports of pork from the US to Mexico increased 18% in volume (522,227 mt) and 22% in value ($984.1m).