Pork producer sets its sights on China

Monday, 19 January 2015

Cranswick Country Foods has flown the flag for UK food and drink as part of a ground-breaking trade trip to China with South West Norfolk MP and Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss.

Last week’s trip pursued new opportunities for UK producers to sell to Chinese consumers, giving companies like Cranswick Country Foods, which has a base in Norfolk, greater access to China’s valuable specialist food market—expected to be worth £39bn this year.

Cranswick is already the biggest exporter of pork from the UK, producing around 500 tonnes of pork per week. The company currently exports £24m of pork products to China every year and has set its sights on the country’s growing market for top-quality UK processed pork.

Businesses across the country are now growing thanks to increased trade with countries like China, boosting local economies and creating new jobs. Cranswick employs almost 8,000 people across 13 UK production facilities, and sources around 70% of its contracted pigs within Norfolk, Yorkshire, and Lincolnshire.

Last year was a record for the UK food chain, with the industry contributing £103bn to the UK’s growing economy. In 2014 alone UK food and drink exports reached a record 150 countries worldwide, with producers selling wine to France, chillies to Pakistan and ice to Sweden.

South West Norfolk MP and Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

“The UK has a worldwide reputation for producing top quality food and drink and we are increasingly seeing British firms taking advantage of the growing demand in China for our produce, from whisky and pork to Yorkshire tea.

I was delighted to be joined on our latest trade visit by Cranswick Country Foods, who are already blazing a trail with their exports to China.

With UK exports of food and drink to China having more than doubled in the past five years there are plenty of opportunities for businesses across the country to follow in their footsteps.”

Nick Mitchell, Trading Director at Cranswick, said:

“Cranswick is the biggest exporter of pork from the UK—our exports to China are worth £24 million each year. It’s great to see the Secretary of State promoting quality British pork around the world.

For us, the visit was an opportunity to strengthen our business in China even further, but also to push for the market to be opened up even more to allow us to export pigs’ trotters, which we think could potentially bring in further financial benefits to be shared with the rest of the UK’s pig producers.”

Notes to editors

1. Food and Drink companies wanting to find out more about exporting abroad should visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-trade-investment or contact UKTI on 020 7215 5000.

2. Cranswick Country Foods is a leading British supplier of premium, fresh and added-value food products with annual revenues of approximately £1billion. Its core market is the United Kingdom, with a rapidly developing export business serving the European, US and South East Asian markets. For more information on Cranswick visithttp://www.cranswick.plc.uk/.

3. For more information contact Defra Press Office on 0207 238 5498.

Matilda Macduff | Communications Officer | News and External Communications

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Direct line: 020 7238 5498 | Mobile: 07775 554 098 | Out of hours: 0345 051 8486

Nobel House | 17 Smith Square | London SW1P 3JR

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

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