Glimmer Of Hope For Beef Farmers With China Deal

NI beef industry gains some access to £230 million Chinese market.

The Northern Ireland beef industry has received final approval to begin exporting to China, a market which is worth £230 million in the first five years, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced. As the Brexit row rumbles on and business uncertainty is rife, this will offer some comfort to beef producers.

Welcoming approval from the Chinese authorities, Chief Veterinary Officer for NI, Dr Robert Huey said: “Receiving final approval for exports to China is excellent news for our local beef sector, a market which is worth an estimated £230 million to the UK in the first five years.  It is a further boost for our local meat exporters, coming on the back of the announcement earlier this year when Japan agreed to accept beef imports.” 

DAERA officials pictured with a Chinese delegation during a recent inspection trip in June 2019. China’s approval to grant access is estimated to be worth £230 million to the UK beef market in the first five years.

“By recommending approval for Northern Ireland, the Chinese authorities have recognised the rigorous standards we have in place to produce our high-quality, safe and wholesome beef.  We place a clear emphasis on traceability at the heart of our production and processing and recognise that a joined up, safe and efficient food supply is essential.

“This welcome news follows concerted efforts by DAERA, working closely with DEFRA in London and the NI Bureau in Beijing, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Food Standards Agency NI, UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP), and the industry here in Northern Ireland to achieve this outcome.”

Ian Stevenson, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Livestock & Meat Commission, welcomed this very positive development for the Northern Ireland beef industry.

He said: “I am delighted that the professional and intensive engagement that has taken place between the UK and China over the last few years has now resulted in the approval for export of UK beef to China in the coming months. The beef industry has openly welcomed the analysis and inspection of our beef controls across all regions of the United Kingdom and we are looking forward to supplying new customers in China with our high quality and versatile beef.”