British pigs wearing blankets are on the menu in South Korea this Christmas thanks to a trade win | Daily News Byte

British pigs wearing blankets are on the menu in South Korea this Christmas thanks to a trade win

 | Daily News Byte


  • British pigs in blankets could end up in South Korean Christmas dinners after the UK government lifted rules banning the export of certain pork products to the country.
  • The new export opportunity allows UK producers to sell bacon, ham and pork sausages to South Korea and could be worth up to £1 million over five years.
  • The news comes as the UK begins preparations to negotiate an enhanced trade deal with Korea

UK companies can export products such as bacon, ham and pork sausages to South Korea following the resolution of a trade barrier blocking UK exports of processed pork products.

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety previously banned exports of the products to the UK, but the ban was lifted before Christmas following government action.

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

Korea is a meat-loving nation and pork products are eaten in a number of traditional dishes, from samgyeopsal (‘Korean BBQ’) to bude jajigae (‘army stew’). In 2021, about 27.6 kilograms of pork was consumed per person in South Korea, with consumption increasing over the years.

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

Commerce Secretary Cammy Badenoch said:

This is good news for British farmers who have been unable to sell pork to South Korea due to trade barriers.

We have cleared that barrier in time for Christmas and it is very valuable to farmers over the Christmas period.

Food Minister Mark Spencer said:

British pork is renowned worldwide for both its quality and its excellent taste. The hard work of British teams to open up this market means that British bacon and sausage can be the heart and soul of South Korean celebrations and dinners throughout the year.

Registering to export is easy and the British Embassy in Seoul is able to support UK businesses who want to take advantage of these and other export opportunities.

The UK-South Korea trade deal came into effect on 1 January 2021, enabling most goods of UK or South Korean origin to trade tariff-free.

On 9 December 2022, the UK launched a public call for input in preparation for negotiations on an enhanced trade deal.

The new deal will upgrade our trade agreement with South Korea, ensuring a more modern and fit-for-purpose deal that builds on our existing £14.3 billion trade relationship and meets the specific needs of the UK. This will include important areas such as digital trade, enhanced climate provisions and greater support for small and medium-sized businesses.

Note to the editor

  • Export of designated quarantine goods such as meat is only available when registration and approval of the foreign establishment is completed with two Korean departments: the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) and the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA).
  • Annual Per Capita Consumption of Pork in South Korea from 2015 to 2021 – Statista
  • The call for input for the new FTA negotiations with South Korea will run from 9 December 2022 to 2 February 2023 and is available at
  • South Korea is the only East Asian nation to recognize Christmas as a national holiday, and more than 16 million South Koreans identify as Christians.


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