Italian mortadella to be exported to China under new deal
Prepared meat products included in trade arrangement27 March, 14:32
Ham and other meat products are included in the deal announced by Assica, the industrial association of meat and sausage producers and pig slaughterers, which is also part of major business employers association Confindustria.
Cooked ham - known in Italy in proscutto cotto - as well as mortadella and other types of sausages have been approved for export after health authorities in both Italy and China endorsed the trade deal.
Negotiations began 10 years ago between Rome and Beijing to open the Chinese market to production from pigs born, reared and slaughtered in Italy.
Eight years ago, Chinese authorities, including veterinary officials, first visited Italian facilities to inspect processes, said Assica.
The group applauded the trade arrangement, although its president said she hoped it would be widened to include more products including fresh pork as negotiations continue.
"This is a significant opening, although unfortunately it is still limited for our companies," said Lisa Ferrarini, president of Assica.
"Our next goals are bringing Chinese authorities to Italy for a new mission in order to obtain the authorization to export for other companies, and to expand the range of exportable goods to include other products made of seasoned pork, such as salami, coppa, pancetta, as well as the export of fresh pork," she said.
Ferrarini estimates the trade arrangement has the potential to be worth 25 million euros annually, based on exports last year to Hong Kong worth five million euros.