A BURGEONING tourist industry in Cuba could be good news for the British pig breeding industry.

A recent trip to the Caribbean island by Henry Lewis, the Meat and Livestock Commission's livestock export manager, resulted in firm orders for semen from British pigs.

Cuba's need for new bloodlines to boost food production because of an influx of tourists opens the way to trade in both genetics and, possibly, to British pigmeat and beef.

"While we were there we held a series of meetings, including one with their chief veterinary officer, and a seminar attended by about 40 people from the meat and farming industry," said Mr Lewis. "British meat was eaten - and acclaimed - at both a breakfast and a dinner held at the Ambassador's residence.

"Cuba has had rather a closed economy but, because they now have to feed not only their own people but an increasing number of tourists, I believe there will be more opportunities opening up for trade."

The mission to Cuba was organised by Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce.

l Specially-produced packs of British lamb have this week started to appear on French supermarket shelves.

In a deal brokered by the Meat and Livestock Commission, supermarket chain Carrefour is selling packs of six different cuts, including a stir fry, leg steaks and noisettes under the Selectine d'Agneau brand.

The range of meals, based on the British "Quick Lamb" concept, centres on de-boned and de-fatted British lamb cuts.

Three stores will run a trial on the range for five weeks, after which stores across the country could make space on their shelves for the products.

Remi Fourrier, MLC manager for France, said: "We believe these easy to prepare and cook meals will have great appeal for French consumers."