Northern Ireland (NI) farm minister, Michelle O’Neill, says today’s inspection by the Chinese Certification and Accreditation
Administration (CNCA) of NI pork processing plants, with a view to potential exports, is an “important milestone” for the local industry.
The CNCA inspectors, whose visit will be completed today, are in NI to assess pigmeat production standards, with a successful inspection potentially resulting in approval being given for the NI industry to export pork to China.
“My previous visits to China and those of my officials have all been geared toward progressing these important trade negotiations,” said Ms O’Neill.
“Having met with industry on a number of occasions, I am acutely aware how important accessing the lucrative Chinese market is to assisting them in achieving their ambitious growth targets. I will be ensuring momentum is maintained by seeking to finalise the approval to export as soon as possible following these visits.”
In addition to today’s inspections, officials from the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) visited NI on April 17 to assess pig trotter and other fifth quarter production standards.
“If they are confident in the processing standards in place they will agree to add such products to the list of commodities eligible for export to the Chinese market,” said NI’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.