Seven additional meat processors across England and Northern Ireland have now been cleared by the Chinese to export their pork to China. This announcement follows a long and thorough accreditation process which involved Chinese inspections of plants by China’s Certification and Accreditation (CNCA) agency and visits to China by several agriculture ministers from Northern Ireland.
The pork farmers cleared to export to China are based in Derbyshire, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, County Antrim and County Tyrone. George Eustice, UK food minister, claimed the deal would support 1,500 agricultural jobs and generate an estimated £200m boost to the UK food industry.
There is already a market in China for pork products that are not particularly popular in the UK, so-called fifth quarter cuts such as trotters as well as heads and hearts.
Robert Huey, Northern Ireland’s chief veterinary officer, claims the deal represents a major boost for the pig farming sector in the region as well as the wider UK food industry. “By recommending approval, the Chinese authorities have recognised the rigorous standards Northern Ireland has in place to produce our high-quality, safe and wholesome pork.”
Prior to this announcement, only nine UK pork producers were approved to export to China, who have been increasingly strict on foreign meat producers. Last month, China banned six Australian companies from exporting their meat to the country.