China officially opened its market to French pork products on March 1 following a meeting between China’s President Xi Jinping and French President Francois Hollande.

After a year of waiting, several leading French pork product producers have now received the required licenses to sell to China, according to a report from Boyar. The opening of pork trade between France and China was observed at the 52nd Paris Agricultural Fair, also called the Salon de I’agriculture, held February 21-March 1.

China’s estimated population of 1.3 billion people consumes pork regularly, although few reportedly consumer pork products other than Chinese-made sausages and ham. Chinese consumers demand a high quality of pork, and one French pork industry employee attending the Paris Agricultural Fair said that pork from France meets that description.


“The younger generation strongly prefers these high-quality products. This ham is processed from fresh meat and has no food coloring or artificial flavors. Any consumer can see the quality here,” the employee said.

While China has opened up to imports of French pork, other countries in Europe – including Spain, Italy and Denmark -- are also eager to test China’s market. Also, Northern Ireland has been actively working on securing approval to export pork to China.