Doors Open For NI Beef Into China

China agrees access for NI beef.

The Chief Veterinary Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Robert Huey, has welcomed China’s decision to grant market access for UK beef exporters by the end of this year.

The announcement was made by Defra on 17 June 2019, following the signing of the UK-China Beef Protocol as part of the tenth Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) between the UK and China.

China is prepared to take in beef from Northern Ireland.

The move could be worth an estimated £230 million for British producers in the first five years alone, and comes more than 20 years after the Chinese Government imposed a ban on UK imports of beef in 1996.

Welcoming the announcement, Dr Huey said: “The UK-China Beef protocol is a significant step in the journey towards the export of our high quality red meat to the growing marketplace within the People’s Republic of China. It is a further boost for local meat exporters, coming on the back of the announcement earlier this year when Japan agreed to accept beef imports. 

“I would like to remind industry of the stringent Chinese requirements and that further work is required to leverage the ultimate benefits for primary producers and processors.  My staff will continue to work closely with industry to help achieve the required controls and desired outcomes.”

Ian Stevenson, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Livestock & Meat Commission, welcomed the agreement on the protocol as another positive step for the Northern Ireland beef industry.

He said: “I am delighted by this announcement. This presents a significant opportunity for our local industry as beef import demand into China continues to grow strongly with a six fold increase in imports recorded over the last 10 years.”

The UK-China Beef Protocol is the culmination of several years of site inspections and engagement between UK and Chinese government officials.