British pigs in blankets on the menu in South Korea this Christmas thanks to UK trade win

"I am committed to continuing to bang the trading drum for Britain to boost economic growth and level up the UK for generations to come" - Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

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

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety had previously banned UK exports of the products, but this ban was lifted ahead of Christmas after action from the government.

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 consumed in a number of traditional dishes, from Samgyeopsal (‘Korean BBQ’) to Budae Jjigae (‘Army Stew’). In 2021, around 27.6 kilograms of pork were consumed per person in South Korea, with consumption increasing over the years.

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

Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:

This is good news for British farmers who haven’t been able to sell their pork to South Korea because of a trade barrier.

We have removed that barrier in time for Christmas and it is worth so much to farmers over the Christmas Period.

Food Minister Mark Spencer said:

British pork is renowned across the world for both its quality and its great taste.  The hard work of British teams to open up this market means British bacon and sausages can be the heart and Seoul of South Korean celebrations and dinners throughout the year.

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

The UK-South Korea trade deal came into force on 1 January 2021, enabling the vast majority of goods of UK or South Korean origin to be traded tariff-free.

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

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


  1. “British pigs in blankets on the menu in South Korea this Christmas”

    So what is the value of the pork products which have been exported to the Republic of Korea since the ban was lifted?


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