Its Forssa plant in southern Finland, which already exports pork to Russia and the US, was approved by Chinese and Finnish authorities. Both parties signed an accord to testify the factory is compliant with the import requirements of Asia’s biggest economy.
HKScan will now start to ramp up production at the slaughter and packaging plant in order to get the first pork shipments to China within the first six months of 2018.
The business, which already exports meat to around 50 countries, called the trade agreement a “significant milestone”.
‘Competitive edge’ in China
A modest 3,000 tonnes of pork will be shipped to China initially, but HKScan plan to triple the volume by 2020. Most of the products will go to Chinese retailers, hotels and restaurants.
The business said it hoped the deal would act as a springboard to launch more products, such as chicken and beef, into the Chinese market in the future.
Jari Latvanen, CEO of HKScan, added: “Our promise is to deliver responsibly produced, high-quality, nutritionally sound food, from farm to fork, and now we have the chance to do this in the growing Chinese market.
“Finnish family farms are doing a world-class job and we take pride in sharing their story with the world. Our commitment to superior quality and responsibility from farm to fork offers us a competitive edge and the opportunity to expand our export of value-added products in a significant new market.
“I would like to thank all our contract farmers for the excellent, long-term work they have been doing to differentiate our products in such a unique way.”
Latvanen reserved special praise for Jaana Husu-Kallio, Finland’s Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, who gave “valuable support” to the business.