TOP Yorkshire pig breeding company JSR is working to establish a sizeable herd in central China.
The Driffield-based business is building and stocking a herd of 900 pigs in the Xiangfan province of China as part of the region's plans to increase the number of pigs it slaughters each year from six million currently to 100 million by 2020.
As part of the process, a group of business delegates from the province visited JSR's base in East Yorkshire, a move which JSR's bosses said made them "honoured".
Organised as part of a drive to encourage more European businesses to make investments in the Xiangfan Province the delegates met with Paul Anderson, JSR international sales director, Glenn Dams, JSR managing director and Dr Grant walling, director of research and genetics.
The Chinese were keen to gain a greater insight into the work that JSR are undertaking in China, including the building and stocking of a state-of-the-art facility upon which work is already underway.
Paul Anderson, from JSR, commented on the delegates visit: "We are delighted to be establishing a JSR Nucleus Herd in this very progressive province of China and we thoroughly enjoyed welcoming the group to Yorkshire.
"They visited the York Science Park during the morning followed by presentations from both JSR and the Xiangfan delegation.
"The group watched a presentation by JSR that focused on developments in genetics and commercial pig production in the UK and overseas. It also reinforced why JSR were chosen to supply the Xiangfan region of China; who are looking to improve the productivity of their herds through using modern JSRgenetics, which are the base for their pig production expansion programme.
"The video presentation from Xiangfan demonstrated the natural resources, infrastructure, the main industries plus a guide to investment in Xiangfan.
"In the evening we had dinner in The Red Chilli, Chinese Restaurant in York, which was attended by the Right Honourable Lord Mayor of York, Coun Susan Galloway, Jean Pierre-Garnier of the British Pig Executive and Stephan Stahl of the UK Trade & Investment.
"It was an important business trip designed to promote the north east of the UK and at JSR we are proud to represent the area globally and often host visitors from around the world."
Xiangfan is in central China, with a good network of airports, railways and highways.
It is the national agricultural demonstration area and farming contributes 16.7 per cent of GDP in the region. The group of delegates included Li Xinhua, Mayor of Xiangfan Municipal Government, and Wang Peng, director of Xiangfan Investment Promotion Bureau.
The visit follows an export deal with China signed late last year that will bring an estimated 45m cash injection to the UK pig farming business.
Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the deal in November as part of a raft of measures to bolster trade with the country, home to half of the world's pigs.
JSR Genetics at the time signalled its intent to expand its business dealings with China and the British Pig Executive says that pig meat exports to China have the potential to rise to over 40m per annum.
The firm has also opened a successful cookery school on its Driffield-based site. Bosses hope the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School will be a self-financing provider of culinary knowledge in the area.