NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Chinese veterinary authorities are to visit Northern Ireland as part of moves to open up the market for pork to China.
The Chinese Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA) are visiting Northern Ireland this week to assess pork processing premises to export.
Ahead of the visit, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill (pictured) said: "I am delighted that the CNCA inspectors will be in the north next week to assess our pig meat production standards.
"A successful inspection is an important final step in securing approval for our industry to export pork to China.
"This inspection by the CNCA follows an audit of our processors by a separate team of Chinese inspectors earlier this month to approve the north and Britain to export trotters.
"Being able to export such fifth quarter, in addition to our high quality pork, is important for our industry as it will provide a valuable market for those parts of the animal which would not usually be consumed by the domestic market."
Following the inspection, on 27 and 28 April, the CNCA will make a final determination on approving the north to export pig meat and pig meat products to China.
Concluding the Minister said: "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."
Inspectors from the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) also visited the north on 17 April 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.
TheMeatSite News Desk