Updated: Friday, 15th February 2019 @ 12:37pm

Cameron's decision to give China pig semen and trotters can 'only be a good thing', say Greater Manchester farmers

Cameron's decision to give China pig semen and trotters can 'only be a good thing', say Greater Manchester farmers

By Matthew Naylor

Farmers in Greater Manchester believe that the UK’s decision to export pig semen and trotters to China can be nothing but a good thing for their businesses.

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson announced today that Britain has reached the agreement with the Chinese, who eat more pork than any other nation, and where trotters are considered a delicacy.

China is already home to the world’s largest pig population but they have now set about their bid to make their pigs more productive as they aim to copy the British agricultural model.

Alan Massey of the Wythenshawe Community Farm claims the £45million a year deal will be a huge positive for the previously suffering farming industry.

“It can only be a good thing,” Mr Massey told MM.

“It will cause an increase in the prices of our meat, which in the past 12-18 months have been dwindling slightly.

“There will be far more demand for British pigs as a direct result of China’s expansion.”

Mr Massey also believes that the other aspects to the deal will make his, and other farms’, products more valuable.

“Trotters are a bit of a waste product in this country,” Mr Massey said.

“We sell very few here so to have another part of the pig that we can export is great for business.”

A spokesperson for No.10 said earlier today that the government is determined that this deal help out the country at all levels, in what he called a ‘win-win’.

“We are doing all we can to ensure that businesses up and down the country reap the rewards from our relationship with China,” the spokesperson announced.

However, it is counter-argued that what benefit there is to the pig industry in the UK, will not be seen by grass-roots farmers such as Mr Massey.

“The only people this deal benefits are the genetics companies,” an industry source told MM.

“I can’t really see it helping Jonny Farmer back home, and could even have an adverse effect on him as feed prices increase as they become more valuable.

“If we export our good genetic technology, it’s like when we sell our technology for making cars or rockets – China will take some of our export markets, they learn how to breed pigs cheaper than us and ultimately sell them back to us.

“I can’t see why local farmers see this as a good thing.”

Image courtesy of ThornyPup, with thanks

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