Huge win for Denmark as approval for export of heat-treated pork to the strict Chinese market finalized

In a few days, you can have red a sausages and Danish ham for lunch in China. Last week the Chinese authorities have approved Danish heat-treated pork for sale on the Chinese market. Denmark already sells frozen pork and by-products to China, but red sausages, cold cuts and goats can be exported to China as well.

The approval comes after the Danish authorities and the agricultural industry have worked for it for more than 10 years.”It’s a big day for the Danish agriculture and the Danish economy. We are world champions in Danish sausages and ham. Of course, the middle class in China will also like a taste of it. It’s a big day and I can’t get my arms down”, says Minister for Environment & Food, Esben Lunde Larsen.

”10 years of intensive leg work and many visits by professionals, officials and politicians was necessary to convince the Chinese that “Made in Denmark” means something very special.

The agreement is estimated to contribute 41.4 million USD to Danish economy. What is specifically good about this agreement is the fact that it is processed goods that can be exported, helping keep and create new jobs on the Danish labour market.


Karen Hækkerup, CEO of Danish Agriculture & Food Council says: “We can expect even higher potential in the long run when we look at how much the Chinese appreciate the Danish food. It is a historic day for Danish pig producers and slaughterhouses. It is especially their high level of food safety and quality that has secured Denmark as one of the first countries in the world to sell heat-treated pork to the Chinese market.”

Esben Lunde Larsen adds: “China has very high demands for food safety, and without skilled farmers and a skilled industry, Denmark would never have had this opportunity. Denmark’s ambassador to China, A. Carsten Damsgaard also comments: “It has been a long negotiation process. The final breakthrough came during the Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s visit to China in May 2017, where the Minister for Environment and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen, was able to sign the main agreement. We have fought and we have won because of the high food safety and product quality we have in Denmark. It is a pleasure to be able to tie the loop on such negotiations.

Danish food security is phenomenal and a major reason we can sell to most of the world.

The news once again emphasizes that the Danish food industry is absolute world class when it comes to food safety, traceability and working strategically to gain access to new markets. “I dare say we are in a league of ourselves in these areas.” says Jens Munk Ebbesen, Area Director in the Department for Food & Veterinary Relations at Danish Agriculture & Food Council. “In addition, in Denmark we have a distinguished and unique collaboration between research, authorities and the food industry. It is an important factor in giving us credibility and strengthening the leg work that is being done to gain access to markets,” he says, also highlighting the story of the Salmonella Special Status which you can read more about here.
10 years of intensive leg work and many visits by professionals, officials and politicians have made it necessary to convince the Chinese that “Made in Denmark” means something very special.

Commitment is key

“Having super good products does not necessarily mean that we also have access to a market like the Chinese. Here, as in relations with the EU, it is not enough to meet some formal requirements that are known and described. It is largely about constantly showing our commitment to the task and demonstrating our level over and over again. Here, the traditionally strong cooperation between the authorities and the food industry is a huge force, “says Jens Munk Ebbesen, who sees a golden rule to gain more successful experiences: “We are doing great, but can’t rest on our laurels. We must constantly strive to show our willingness to keep moving and making even better products.”

Source: Landbrugsavisen and Minstry of Environment and Food of Denmark (both in Danish)
Photo credit: Danish Crown