NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Pork from Northern Ireland (NI) has been provisionally recommended for approval to export to China.
The announcement comes after numerous visits and negotiations between the two countries this year.
NI has been seeking approval from China for several years. This announcement is therefore a step forward and a boost to the local agri-food industry, said NI Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill.
Ms O'Neill commented: “I am delighted that China’s certification agency, the CNCA has announced its intention to approve plants in the north of Ireland to export pork subject to them completing some remedial actions identified as part of their audit earlier this year. My officials are working closely with the two pork processors to ensure this work is progressed expeditiously and to a very high standard."
The opening of the market will also benefit NI pig producers and processors as products such as pig trotters, which are not popular on the domestic market but popular in China, will add value to the carcase.
“I, and my Department, continue to invest much time and energy into opening new markets to expand the agri-food industry in the north and I look forward to making more positive announcements on market opportunities in the future," the Minister concluded.
Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell also welcomed the announcement. Mr Bell said: "There is huge potential for Northern Ireland in this huge marketplace, which is why our local companies have participated in Food Hotel China with Invest NI for the past four years. There is no quick fix to doing business in China; relationships and trust have to be built up over time. Our companies have been doing that through various trade missions, including Food Hotel China, and are now beginning to see tangible benefits.
"Today's announcement is further proof that our food companies are beginning to gain traction in the market and this should significantly boost our economy in the near future."
ThePigSite News Desk