ITALY, Rome. China has lifted its 17-year-old trade ban on Italian pork imports, in place since 1999 over swine vesicular disease (SVD) concerns.
Italy’s minister of agriculture Maurizio Martina has hailed China’s decision to lift its import ban on Italian pork as a very important result that will enhance the country’s €350 mill. export trade with China.
The deal came after months of negotiation with China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) – the body responsible for ensuring China’s imports pose no threat to the country. A joint effort from Italy’s Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (MiPAAF), Ministry of Health and the Italian Embassy in China helped convince AQSIQ that Italy was free from SVD.
It clears the way for Italy’s northern region – responsible for 80% of the country’s pork production – to start exporting fresh and frozen pig meat to China.
The lifting of the trade ban comes as China looks to diversify its booming pork imports, but Italy’s access to the market is unlikely to affect other key European pork exporters like Denmark, Germany and Spain.