Jamie Oliver gave British pork a major boost in his TV show in January, but are farmers and the wider industry willing to take the next steps needed to capitalise on the situation, asks Michael Barker.

How times have changed for the UK pork industry. A year ago, desperate farmers resorted to demonstrations, petitions and even pop music to tell the world the industry was dying on its feet and losing £26 for every pig produced.

Today, however, there’s more than a whiff of optimism in the air. In October, for the first time in nearly two years, farmers began turning a profit.

Exports have taken off in a way unimaginable a year ago. And Jamie Oliver’s January TV show Jamie Saves Our Bacon boosted sales of shoulder joint 75% in the week after the broadcast, according to TNS, while pork sales in general rose 16% in volume.

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