Ancient pigs in modern times

At the beginning of 2011, an idea sprouted at UGent to revive the Menapian pig, the oldest Flemish export product widely recognized during Roman times.

3 research groups at Ghent University within the departments of Archaeology, Agricultural Economics and Animal Production joint forces with 3 industrial partners to reconstruct the highly qualitative, authentic Menapian pig and its pork products.

The aim is to convert this niche product with a unique Flemish character into a commercial success. Corma, a company well-known for its high quality smoked and raw ham production, immediately expressed great interest in this innovative project. The missing links with regard to animal feed production, pig farming and other meat processing were filled in by the entry of pig farmer AG-S and butcher Dierendonck (the Belgian reference in artisan butchers).

The project is funded with the support of the Flemish government. With the complementarity expertise and skills gathered in this research team, the Menapian pig can hopefully be restored to its former glory and become the prime Flemish export product for which it once was known for.

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