SPANISH trade officials are hoping imitation Chinese legs of jamón will not scupper exports as China grants producers access to their 1.3 billion nation.
Carlos Tórtola, Chief economic and commercial advisor at the Spanish Embassy in Beijing, said Chinese authorities have a ‘great commitment’ to protect consumers from fakes.
He cited ‘greater awareness’ to the ‘dangers of counterfeiting agrifood products due to health problems’ as a key reason for optimism.
It comes as Spain has finally been granted approval to export shoulders and legs of jamón to the east Asian country – the world’s biggest export market for luxury goods.
Measures were approved in October, and come after years of lobbying by Spain’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Ministry to convince Chinese authorities to give the green light.
Then Chinese export market for Spanish ready-sliced ham was already worth €2 million in 2014, according to the Chinese Customs Department.
This year, together with full-leg and shoulder jamóns, those figures are expected to sky-rocket.
Tórtola said the typical Chinese consumer of jamón will be Beijing or Shanghai-dwellers ‘from the middle to upper classes, open-minded and well-informed’.