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Home BUSINESSFinnish companies to expand pork exports to China
Sat, 17 Jan, 2015 12:05:55 AM
FTimes-STT-Xinhua Report, Jan 17
File picture of processing pork meat. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Finnish meat companies HKScan Group and Atria, will soon be exporting Finnish pork to China, said sources at the ministry of agriculture and respective companies.
HKScan said  Finland’s pork slaughtering facility in Forssa is going to gain export certification from the Chinese food authorities following inspections carried out in August last year.
According to Jukka Nikkinen, head of HKScan’s exports and Away from Home business, the launch of Finnish pork exports to China will be a major milestone in HKScan’s strategy to expand its export footprint.
Nikkinen revealed that direct exports of Finnish meat to China were not possible prior to certification.
In addition to pork, HKScan has long-range plans to begin exporting other meat products suited to local culinary preferences, which include poultry meat, processed meats and convenience meals.
“We devoted much time and effort into preparing this export project together with the authorities. The strong support of the Finnish authorities, and close collaboration between our industries, political decision-makers and officials have been crucial to its progress," said Nikkinen in the release.
HKScan exports pork to a number of EU countries and to long-haul markets including New Zealand and Japan. 
Russia was formerly another major export destination. The opening of a new export market for Finnish foodstuffs is important in the wake of the import bans imposed by Russia last January, said the release.
News Agency Xinhua adds: The Finnish meat industry is authorized to export pork to China, the country's Agriculture Ministry confirmed on Friday.
Atria and HKScan, two Finnish companies, have gained permits to export pork to China, according to local media reports.
Finnish Agriculture Minister Petteri Orpo said the meat exports to China may, in the long term, offset the losses caused by import restrictions levied by Russia.
Exports to China will be viable despite the costs of the long transportation chain, local media reported.
Markku Hirvijarvi, a director from Atria, said the decision was "a very positive message", Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.
Last summer, Chinese officials toured Finland and inspected slaughterhouses and meat processing facilities.
Besides pork, the Finnish food industries are also seeking possibilities of exporting other food products. However, any fast relief to the dairy sector is not expected from the Chinese market, Yle reported.
The Finnish dairy industry has been hard hit by Russian import restrictions, levied as anti-EU countermeasures after the crisis in Ukraine.
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