English pork processors seek Gov support
English pork processors are asking the government to release £15 million ($20.7 million) to cover the losses that appeared in exports to China. Some of the processing units hit by coronavirus outbreaks have lost access to the Chinese market and are experiencing financial difficulties, according to Financial Times.
The industry estimates 1m pig carcasses have been affected by the suspension of some exports to the Chinese market, with parts such as trotters and heads remaining in the domestic market, where there isn't much demand for those. "Margins in the meat industry are very tight at the best of times. So finding markets for these things like pigs’ heads is absolutely critical," commented Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association.
Pig farmers are also asking for a financial line of support of £3.2 million ($4.42 million) from the government to help them deal with the impact of a backlog of pigs on farms because of post-Brexit trade blockages.
"Although there are a small number of businesses that cannot currently export pork products to China, this issue is not unique to the UK. We recognise the challenges the sector is facing and are closely monitoring the situation.
Defra will continue to support the affected establishments, working closely with UK industry and the British embassy in Beijing, with the aim of securing the resumption of exports," Defra said in a statement.
China has placed its first ban on pork imports from the UK in June last year and is not taking a step back on this issue claiming that the virus may resist in low temperatures and could be transmitted through food or packaging. Other pork suppliers in the Chinese market such as the Netherlands and Brazil have been impacted by similar measures as well.
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