Six plants approved to export trotters to China

Six sites in Britain have been given official approval to export trotters to China, in a new agreement announced today.

Exports will be able to commence shortly after the sites – five in England and one in Scotland – were confirmed to meet Chinese requirements.

It will be the first time these sites in Britain, which belong to Cranswick, Karro and Tulip, have exported trotters to China. While trotters have relatively low demand in the UK, they are valued in the Chinese market, which is currently importing large volumes of meat to fill the hole left by African swine fever.

The announcement, part of a welcome acceleration of UK plant approvals to China, follows a lengthy process of negotiations involving  Defra and AHDB in collaboration with the FSA, UKECP, APHA and the wider industry.

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss said: “From the Gloucester Old Spot to the Norfolk Black pig, the UK’s premium pigs are in high demand around the world. This deal means even more Chinese people can eat British pig’s trotters than ever before.

“Another truffle for the farming industry unearthed thanks to effective collaboration between governments and industry.”

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “Today’s announcement is a huge win for the UK pork industry, unlocking access to China’s lucrative market for pig trotters.

“We are proud of the work farmers across all parts of the UK do to maintain high animal welfare and safety standards, and the decision made today means that more people across the globe can enjoy British pork.”

AHDB International Market Development Director Dr Phil Hadley said: “This is fantastic news for both the pork sector and the individual businesses. It is the first time that trotters from these sites will be shipped to China – a hugely important market for our pig meat exports.

“Today’s announcement is the result of hard work and collaboration across industry and government and a testament to the high standards, quality and safety of our country’s pork production.”

China is the now the UK’s biggest customer of pig meat and is a market which continues to grow in both volume and value. In the year-to-date, around a third of our total pig meat exports was shipped to China – up 58% on last year.

So far this year, total pig meat exports are worth £369 milllion – of which the Chinese market is valued at £93m – a rise of 111% compared to the same time last year.

This market access work was part financed from the £2m fund of AHDB red meat levies ring-fenced for collaborative projects which is managed by Britain’s three meat levy bodies: AHDB, HCC and QMS. The fund is an interim arrangement while a long-term solution is sought on the issue of levies being collected at point of slaughter in England for animals which have been reared in Scotland and Wales.

The news comes just days after the Government announced beef from the UK will be exported to China for the first time in 20 years.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.