NI receives final approval to export pork to China
Northern Ireland’s two pork processors have received final approval from Chinese authorities to export pork to China.
Seven factories across the UK were granted final approval on Friday, with DEFRA estimating the new deal to be worth £200m to the UK food industry over the first five years.
Final approval for NI pork processors has been a slow process, however. Cranswick Country Food’s facility in Ballymena (formerly owned by Dunbia) and Karro Food Group’s factory in Cookstown received provisional approval from Chinese officials in November 2015.
The approval has been welcomed, with DAERA’s chief vet describing it as a major boost to the industry.
“The Chinese authorities have recognised the rigorous standards we have in place to produce our high-quality, safe and wholesome pork,” said Robert Huey.
He said that the approval also covered pig trotters. The front feet from a pig carcase are not consumed in local markets, but are a value-added product in China.
It has been previously said that access to the Chinese market for trotters alone could add £2 to the value of a carcase and that access to the lucrative market for all products is worth up to £4 per carcase.
Nine processors in Britain already export to China, with the market generating £43m last year.
DAERA has said that shipping will not start for another two to four weeks, while administration is organised on both sides.