British pig trotters were poised for export to China following the green light from Chinese authorities, according to AHDB.
One of the UK’s largest food producers has got official notification to start supplying pigs’ trotters, and two facilities in Northern Ireland received the first approval to export all cuts of pork.
China was already the UK’s biggest customer outside the EU, importing 40,000 tonnes of UK pork and 36,000t of offal in 2016.
Dr Phil Hadley, International Market Development Director, said: “I am delighted that we have secured this latest opportunity in what has been a long-term project involving collaboration across industry and government.
“This is a significant step forward in our ambitions for China and stands to have a huge impact on the whole supply chain.”
The announcement comes after a lengthy process of technical negotiations led by AHDB, in collaboration with Defra, FSA, UKECL and the wider industry, to demonstrate equivalence of animal health and hygiene standards.
Mike Sheldon, Chair of the AHDB Pork Board, said: “I welcome today’s announcement, this is a fantastic opportunity for the industry to tap into one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
“This news bears testament to the high standards, quality and safety of UK pork production.”
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) said it was a huge boost for the pig industry.
UFU pork and bacon chairman Norman Robson said: “This is a significant step and stands to have a large positive impact on the whole of the pork supply chain. It is a fantastic opportunity for the industry to be able to tap into one of the world’s largest markets.
“This news bears testament to the high production standards and reputation of Northern Ireland’s pork production.”
He added: “The Chinese market has the potential to offer significant long-term demands for pork products and should boost returns for processors.
“Farmers will now look forward to seeing this added value distributed fairly along the supply chain.”