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Sales of Northern Ireland sausages set to sizzle after Brexit due to GB limitations

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Northern Ireland sausage makers could see growth in exports to the Republic and beyond after claims that the EU has no provisions in place for the import of such foods.

Northern Ireland sausage makers could see growth in exports to the Republic and beyond after claims that the EU has no provisions in place for the import of such foods.

PA

Northern Ireland sausage makers could see growth in exports to the Republic and beyond after claims that the EU has no provisions in place for the import of such foods.

Northern Ireland sausage makers could see growth in exports to the Republic and beyond after claims that the EU has no provisions in place for the import of such foods.

The Times has reported that manufacturers of sausages and some other meat products in Great Britain will have no legal basis to sell their products to the EU when the transition period ends.

According to the British Meat Processors Association, around £17m of sausage meat is sold to the EU by the UK every year, with 45% sold to the Republic.

Products leaving GB will require an EU export health certificate after Brexit. But as revealed in The Times, no EU certificate exists for goods termed a "meat preparation", such as fresh sausages or mince, which the EU has never before imported.

However, under the terms of the Northern Ireland protocol, producers here will be sticking to EU rules - giving them continued freedom to sell into the Republic and the rest of the EU.

Peter Hardwick of the British Meat Processors Association said the restriction on GB sausage meat - which will apply if there is no free trade agreement - may ultimately benefit producers here.

"This could be an opportunity for Northern Ireland," he said.

Major sausage producers in Northern Ireland include Finnebrogue Artisan, Cranswick plc and Karro Food, which makes Cookstown Sausages.

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said: "The implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol, which takes effect at the end of the transition period, will result in NI continuing to apply EU rules and continuing to have access to the EU's single market for goods.

"NI will, therefore, be able to continue to export fresh meat preparations to EU member states.

"In line with the Government's commitment to unfettered access, NI will also be able to continue to export fresh meat preparations to Great Britain."

A spokesman for Finnebrogue Artisan, which supplies sausages to supermarkets around the UK and in the Republic, said it retained confidence in its own products: "We won't be wasting energy worrying about Brexit over the next few months. We believe that if we innovate and blaze a trail, our business can be successful in almost any circumstances.

"The meat industry should spend less time expressing concerns about what politicians may or may not do - and more time producing the nutritious and sustainable products consumers are demanding and deserve ... The food and drink sector is a jewel in the crown of the Northern Irish economy."

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