China’s affinity for off-cuts, namely pig trotters, is apparently saving the UK pork industry. Hopefully their love of horse meat will help keep the British beef industry afloat as well (oh snap). Quartz reports:
Over the last decade and a half, Britain’s pig farmers and pork producers have been under threat from cheaper pork imports and falling consumption in its main export markets in Europe. Domestic pig meat consumption is also ticking lower: it fell 0.3% in 2013, which was the country’s weakest year of pork consumption since 2002.
Now, thanks to China, it’s looking like a boom time for swine. According to British Food and Drink Federation (FDF), exports to the world’s largest pork consumer rose by 92% last year, pushing total food exports to the country up 82% to £201 million. A recent index measuring the confidence of British pork dealers rose for the first time (pdf, p. 8) in three years.
Chinese demand for all parts of the pig is particularly beneficial for breeders. “There is a strong demand for pork in China and consumers like parts of the animal that we don’t consume, such as whole pig head and trotters,” the FDF’s Terry Jones told the Financial Times (paywall).
Perhaps in the future, the snout-to-tail movement in the UK itself will be big enough to benefit the pork industry as well.
The UK isn’t the only country that benefits from China’s foot fetish. China’s appetite for chicken feet has helped keep the US poultry industry thriving as well.