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UK pork plants given green light for Chinese trotter exports

24th Nov 2017 / By Alistair Driver

Three major UK pork plants have been given green light to start shipping trotters to China.

Cranswick’s Hull facility, which is already approved for export to China, has received official notification to start supplying trotters, following a successful inspection by Chinese authorities.

Two further facilities in Northern Ireland, Cranswick’s Ballymena plant and Karro’s Cookstown facility, have also received their first approval to export all cuts, including trotters.

This formal notification, following an announcement in August that the plants had gained market access, is the culmination of a lengthy process of technical negotiations led by AHDB, in collaboration with Defra, FSA, UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) and the wider industry, to demonstrate equivalence of animal health and hygiene standards.

AHDB has identified China as a ‘very high’ potential market for UK pig meat exports. It is already the UK’s biggest pork customer outside the EU, importing 40,000 tonnes of UK pork and 36,000t of UK offal in 2016. UK exports to China have continued to grow in 2017, bucking the EU trend.

AHDB International Market Development Director Phil Hadley, 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.”

AHDB Pork Board char Mike Sheldon, said announcement represented 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," he said.

NPA chairman Richard Lister welcomed the announcement, which he said would provide a major boost for the UK pig sector. 

"It is very important for us to continue to build our relationship with China, which provides a valuable outlet for fifth quarter cuts that have little or no value in our domestic market. We look forward to seeing progress on Chinese market access for trotter exports from other UK pig plants."