Brexit win puts pigs on blankets on South Korean tables

US-UK trade deal progress discussed by Badenoch

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Pigs in blankets will by on the menu in South Korea this month thanks to a Brexit-fuelled British trade win. South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety had previously banned UK exports of the bacon, ham, and pork sausages, but the exclusion has been lifted ahead of Christmas after action from the government.

It is estimated that the Korean market could be worth up to £1 million to UK exporters in the first five years. 

South Korea is a meat-loving nation and pork products are consumed in many of traditional dishes, from Samgyeopsal (‘Korean BBQ’) to Budae Jjigae (‘Army Stew’).

In 2021, around 27.6 kilograms of pork were consumed per person in South Korea, with consumption increasing over the years. 

The UK exported £339 million of pork globally in 2021, with over two-thirds going to non-EU destinations, demonstrating the value of unlocking markets around the world. 

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Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “This is good news for British farmers who haven’t been able to sell their pork to South Korea because of a trade barrier. 

“We have removed that barrier in time for Christmas and it is worth so much to farmers over the Christmas Period.” 

Food Minister Mark Spencer added:  “British pork is renowned across the world for both its quality and its great taste. 

“The hard work of British teams to open up this market means British bacon and sausages can be the heart and Seoul of South Korean celebrations and dinners throughout the year.”

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The UK-South Korea trade deal came into force on 1 January 2021, enabling the vast majority of goods of UK or South Korean origin to be traded tariff-free.  

It upgrades Britain’s trade agreement with South Korea, ensuring a more modern and fit-for-purpose deal which builds on our existing £14.3 billion trading relationship and meets the specific needs of the UK.

This will include important areas such as digital trade, enhanced climate provisions and further support for small and medium sized businesses. 

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