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UK to sell pigs' trotters to China

Britain has signed an agreement to export pigs' trotters to China according to an article in the Telegraph newspaper.

Apart from being the biggest producer of pork in the world, China is also the biggest consumer.

The agreement, which covers all British pork, was signed by Gordon Brown on his visit to China last weekend. It follows years of complex negotiations involving several different ministries, veterinarians, diplomats and scientists. It was hoped that a deal would be reached already in 2006.

The export market for British pork is worth around £150 million (€202m) mainly in Europe.

Chinese cooking is famous for favouring the 'rests' of the pig - i.e. the parts which slaughterhouses must pay to dispose such as offal. It is believed that the market for offal could blossom on account of this new trade agreement even though the demand for offal is so low in the UK.

Pig's stomach is a popular restaurant staple, while trotters are regarded as a delicacy. The meat is believed to be good for the health, balancing the body's inner heat, while the fat and skin are considered to be good for the complexion.

Trade will not begin until the UK is cleared officially of foot and mouth disease, which is expected to occur later this month.

The British embassy in Beijing has welcomed the agreement stating that "as the UK and China have had no previous bilateral trade in pig meat products, signature of the protocol will represent a significant step forward in terms of exports of UK agricultural products to China. It is of mutual benefit to the UK and China."

Related website:

• Telegraph

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