Three senior executives from one of the largest meat processors in Mexico visited London last week to learn more about the UK’s pork sector and explore possible trade opportunities.

CEO of SuKarne Vizcarra Calderon and two company directors took part in a two-day visit, which was hosted by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), government officials and UK pork processors.

The parties held discussions on the opportunity to begin shipping pork from the UK to Mexico, after market access was granted late last year. As part of this, conversations were also held on antibiotic usage, production methods and the UK’s export capabilities.

AHDB’s head of animal health and welfare Mandy Nevel, outlined the progress that is being made in relation to reducing antibiotic usage in the UK pork sector and stated that total usage has fallen by 69% since 2015.

AHDB senior export manager for the Americas Susana Morris said the meeting was “incredibly useful and productive”.

“SuKarne is a big player in the Mexican meat sector, and we were delighted to support part of their visit to the UK,” she added.

“During our time with SuKarne, AHDB was able to talk about the quality of UK pork, as well as our high welfare standards, UK assurance schemes, and what processors are doing to be more sustainable.”

Alongside a butchery demonstration on how value can be added to carcasses and the supply chain, the Mexican delegates were able to sample UK pork, beef and lamb.

Source: AHDB

Morris said it was “a great opportunity to show SuKarne the quality of our red meat”, and said the visitors were complimentary of the dishes, adding:

“We were delighted with the feedback and are hopeful this meeting will provide opportunities for our red meat exporters in this new and potentially lucrative market.”

Mexico currently imports approximately 106,000t of pork primals every month, thus representing a valuable market opportunity for the UK. Gaining market access in 2021 was a significant win for the country with the deal estimated to be worth about £50 million over the first five years of the trade.

AHDB also stated that it is currently working alongside the UK government and UKECP to broaden this access to include offal exports, and added that the Mexican authorities are in the process of reviewing documents in relation to this.