12 Apr 2018, 08:51 AM
AHDB Pork Blog
For the last nine years, I have worked in AHDB’s Export department. My first projects took me around Europe, mainly Spain (as I am a Spanish speaker), organising inward and outward missions and exhibitions such as Salón de Gourmets and Alimentaria. Speaking of which, Alimentaria will be taking place in Barcelona from 16–19 April, and AHDB will, once again, be present.
A few years later, new projects took me further afield. My responsibilities were extended to the Caribbean market, in particular the Dominican Republic, where we can export beef, lamb and pork. I also work with the Canadian and US markets and I’ve recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Mexico, which I’ll cover in more detail below.
At present, Defra and SAGARPA (the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, Mexico) are in contact, with the objective of opening the Mexican market to British pig meat. During my visit to the country, I met with the Department for International Trade (DIT) teams from Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. I also visited one of the largest and most important companies for pig meat in the country and promoted British pig meat at Alimentaria Mexico. The product created such interest that one or two companies I met during the show, will be visiting us at Alimentaria in Barcelona to talk further and try our products.
So, why are we targeting Mexico?
Mexico is a huge and highly populated country, with 130m people, making it the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Its capital, Mexico City, has a population of 25m, which is around half of the total population of Spain! Mexico imports around 45 per cent of its food products, mainly from the US and Canada and, thanks to its relationships with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 1.3MT of pig meat was imported in 2016. Meats, in general, are very important to the Mexican diet, but it only produces around 65 per cent of its total consumption and is becoming less self-sufficient each year.
Mexicans love to eat pork and every part of the pig is used. The heads are used to make ‘pozole’ stew and the tails are used for roasting. The famous ‘Chicharrón’ (fried pig skin - image on the left) is prepared every day, and then we also have ‘Tacos al Pastor’, served in the street market, ‘Pork Tinga’ made of ground pork and ‘Carnitas’ – a kind of taco dish (image bottom left).
I definitely believe that Mexico could become an important market for British pig meat and that the Mexicans will fall in love with our appetising product!
If you’d like to learn more about our export work, visit our website or get in touch.
By AHDB Pork at 12 Apr 2018, 08:51 AM