Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell has hailed the acheivements of Cookstown owner Karro Food Ltd following the announcement that the company’s pork plant has been provisionally recommended for approval to export to China.
Speaking during a visit to the firm’s new chill facility in Cookstown, he said the development was “hugely significant”.
“In the next decade it is expected China will surpass Europe and become the largest consumer of pigmeat,” he said.
“As well as increased trading opportunities this announcement represents a massive vote of confidence in the safety and quality of Northern Ireland meat.”
As a major employer in the area, Mr Bell said Karro was a perfect example of the excellence in the agri-food industry. “The company continues to play a central role in developing Northern Ireland’s pork sector,” he said.
“They recognise the integral role farmers play in business, sourcing meat locally and working with farmers to ensure high animal welfare, traceability and quality.
“The completion of its new chill facility will mark a milestone in the company’s investment strategy and will enable Karro to boost efficiencies to deal with an ever increasing globally competitive industry.
Seamus Carr, Karro Group CEO, said: “Investing in our new chilling facility is an exciting development for the business and we’ll be among one of the first companies in the world to use this state of the art technology.
“We continue to focus on building our export sales, particularly in the US and Asia. We remain committed to working closely with the local farming industry to ensure the future sustainability of the Northern Ireland pig industry.”