The deal follows a similar agreement last year on the export of live pigs.
We’re doing all we can to ensure that businesses up and down the country reap the rewards from our relationship with China. And that includes our pig farmers.
This new deal to export pig semen will be worth £45 million to UK firms and means Britain’s best pigs will help sustain the largest pig population in the world.
And we’re not stopping there – we’re talking to the Chinese about serving up pigs trotters on Beijing’s finest dining tables. That would be a real win-win – a multimillion-pound boost for Britain and a gastronomic treat for Chinese diners.
Anything that sees British genetics being exported world wide has to be a good thing for the industry. This is another avenue for British companies to exploit. British genetics have been in demand right the way back to the Nineteenth Century: we’re among the best in terms of genetics and animal welfare and it’s no surprise China would want to make use of this.
China’s self-sufficiency in pigmeat production has plummeted in the past twenty years. The OECD predicts that China will surpass the European Union as the world’s largest per-person consumer of pigmeat by 2022, as the rapidly expanding middle class switches from a predominantly vegetable-based diet to a meat-based one.
“We can buy all you can deliver,” Premier Li Kequiang said in Bucharest recently, while agreeing to buy three million pigs from Romania over the coming years.