Deal set to put hanwoo on HK tables by year end

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Deal set to put hanwoo on HK tables by year end

Hanwoo - Korean beef - is a step closer to Hong Kong.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced last Monday that the quarantine procedure to allow the export of hanwoo to Hong Kong is in its final stages, and the first shipment could be made within this year.

The Ministry has been negotiating with the Hong Kong government for some time, however the process was halted due to the spread of foot-and-mouth disease last July.

Talks resumed this March and in April a risk assessment for the import was completed. By June, a quarantine and sanitary certificate were issued and in August domestic workplaces for hanwoo exports were registered by the Hong Kong government.

Last month, two livestock product experts from Hong Kong inspected Korean processing facilities, farms and laboratories.

Once the inspection reports are satisfactorily completed, hanwoo exports will begin. Regions where the disease took hold have been denied export permission.

The Hong Kong agreement will be the first export of Korean beef officially sanctioned by the two governments.

“Considering fresh meat, there have only been several cases where the meat left the country, such as King Abdullah II of Jordan directly carrying hanwoo back to the country or small amounts being delivered for Korean officials residing in Middle East or North Korea for work,” said Jeong Byung-gon, an official from the Ministry.

“We aim to put our best efforts into managing the quarantine … of the meat processing workplaces and the hanwoo products to enable a long-term trading relationship between Korea and Hong Kong,” he added.

BY JO HYUN-SUK [kim.jeehee@joonang.co.kr]

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