The first consignment of beef to the Philipines has gone on sale the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has confirmed .
The development follows an announcement in August last year by the Filipino authorities that beef exports from the UK could recommence, alongside existing exports of pork, chicken and lamb.
The first shipment has now cleared Filipino customs and has the potential to become a major trade opportunity for the local beef industry, the department said.
“We have been working in partnership with Defra and industry to identify new markets and opportunities for our local meat sector,” said DAERA’s deputy chief veterinary officer, Dr Perpetua McNamee.
“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.”
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.
“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,” she said.
“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 forecasts that new trade to these markets may be worth £34m and £50m to the UK beef and pork industries respectively over the next five years.