Boost for Northern Ireland beef and pork exporters as Philippines and Taiwan open markets
Beef and pork exporters in Northern Ireland look set to benefit from the opening of new markets in Taiwan and the Philippines.
Local beef is due to hit the shelves in the Philippines, one year on from an announcement that exports from the UK could recommence.
Filipino authorities announced in August 2017 that it would accept UK beef alongside existing exports of pork, chicken and lamb.
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has confirmed that the first consignment of beef from here has now cleared customs in the Philippines. It has the potential to become a major trade opportunity for the local beef industry.
It follows an announcement from Taiwan that local pork exporters will now have access to that market after authorities agreed to accept such imports from the UK for the first time.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in London forecasts that additional trade to these new markets may be worth £34m and £50m to the UK beef and pork industries respectively over the next five years.
Welcoming the progress, DAERA's deputy chief veterinary officer Dr Perpetua McNamee said: "We have been working in partnership with Defra and industry to identify new markets and opportunities for our local meat sector.
"This process began in 2015 and it is welcoming to note that the Filipino people will now have the opportunity to sample the fine quality beef produced by our farmers."
Dr McNamee also welcomed the announcement that the pork industry will now have access to the Taiwanese market.
She added: "This market is of particular significance to the pork industry. It will provide opportunities for pork processors to export much of the less marketed 'fifth quarter' products, which have a limited outlet more locally.
"Gaining access to the Philippines and Taiwanese markets is further recognition of the rigorous standards we have in place to produce our high-quality, safe and wholesome meat.
"We will continue to invest much time and energy into opening new markets across the globe to expand the agri-food industry."