As the most widely eaten meat in the world accounting for over 36% of the world's meat trade, pork has a long tradition of high-quality production in Europe. A commitment to excellence in farming and processing has made the European Union (EU) a major global hub of pork production and today, the world's largest net exporter of pork. There are over 250 million pigs slaughtered annually in the EU which equates to around 24 million tonnes carcass weight.
In 2019, 24 million tonnes of pork, worth €41 billion, were exported around the world. Strong trade relationships across Asia mean the EU's three most important export markets, China, Japan and South Korea, account for over 60% of its total pork exports.
Ireland is located in the western part of Europe bound by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish sea. In Ireland, pork is the third largest agricultural product, behind beef and dairy, and accounts for 8% of our gross agricultural product.