The first consignment of beef from NI has now cleared customs in the Philippines and has the potential to become a major trade opportunity for the local beef industry.
Welcoming the progress, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) deputy chief veterinary officer Dr Perpetua McNamee said: “We have been working in partnership with Defra [the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] 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.”
The Filipino authorities announced in August 2017 that beef exports from the UK to the Philippines could recommence, alongside existing exports of pork, chicken and lamb. This followed a visit in March 2015 when DAERA and Defra officials travelled to the Philippines to highlight the high standards of animal welfare, traceability, and official controls in the UK.
Dr McNamee also welcomed the announcement that the pork industry in NI will now have access to the Taiwanese market after authorities agreed to accept pork imports from the UK for the first time.
She added: “This market is of particular significance to the pork industry because 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 in DAERA will continue to invest much time and energy into opening new markets across the globe to expand the agri-food industry in NI.”
Defra forecast that additional trade to these new markets could be worth £34 million and £50 million to the UK beef and pork industries respectively over the next five years.