A.D. Following the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in the country in September 2018, 14 of the 30 countries and territories that have temporarily lifted the ban on pork exports have lifted the embargo.
The news came from the Federal Food Security Agency (FSSF), which on Wednesday announced that Japan was the 14th country to lift the embargo.
“The onset of the African swine flu crisis in our country also marked a difficult time for our pig farmers. Now that our country is free of African swine fever (and our country officially got this status a few months ago), more and more international markets will be reopened for our pigs.
“This does not always go smoothly. Therefore, I would like to thank FASFC and all other stakeholders. Thanks to their good work, our quality pork can be rediscovered in international markets.
Other countries that have lifted sanctions are South Korea, South Africa, Singapore, Belarus, Mexico, Uruguay, Ukraine, Russia, New Caledonia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Thailand, and Nicaragua.
The reopening of the markets there is imported, but most of the meat remains in Belgium – 80 to 90 percent – within the borders of Europe.
Only 100,000 tons of pork is exported to third countries outside the European Union.
“Belgium and the surrounding countries are at the heart of the market,” said Joris Conan, director of the Belgian Meat Office (BMO).
Belgium was officially declared disease-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 21, 2020, after which FASFC began negotiations with countries and territories that have banned the export of Belgian pork.
Some countries, including South Korea, a major producer, have reopened their markets this summer.
Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines have already lifted export bans.
The lifting of the Japanese embargo, however, is even more significant, despite the fact that only 600 tons of Belgian meat were imported before the embargo was lifted.
“This is not a big deal compared to what other countries are taking, and I don’t expect Japan to suddenly import a lot of volumes from our country,” Coen said.
“But because of strict hygiene regulations, Japan is considered a model in the region. So the reopening of that market is an important signal for third countries not to take this step.
Negotiations for the reopening of markets are still under way in many countries, including Australia, Taiwan, and China.
“Negotiations with Australia and Taiwan are going well,” Connie told Vilti. It will take time, of course, but we are talking.
“With China, things are very difficult. We can only guess for the right reasons, but diplomatic relations with Europe are not good at the moment. It is unlikely that such stress will make matters worse. ”
Outside of Europe, the largest buyers of Belgian pork are China, South Korea and the Philippines.
“The sentiment or futility of exporting to distant lands, such as Russia, is often debated, but a few percent of what we sell is very important for pig marketing,” he said.