O’Neill targets new global markets in export drive

Minister O'Neill with Chinese Consul General, Madam Wang Shuying
Minister O'Neill with Chinese Consul General, Madam Wang Shuying

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has used the Balmoral Show to outline her plans to help local firms reach new global agri-food markets.

Giving her keynote address at the annual show, Ms O’Neill said ‘Growing Our Markets’ remained a priority and said her department had a unique, vital role to play in opening new markets and supporting exports.

Welcoming the new Chinese Consul General, Madam Wang Shuying to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Balmoral Breakfast event, she touched on recent efforts to open doors for trade with China.

“I will continue to use every lever available to progress negotiations. I welcomed the two inspection team audits of our pork processors in April which represented a significant milestone in the approval process.

“I have visited China twice and I am again packing my suitcase to return next month,” she said adding that, in the last year, beef and pork exports had gained access to markets in the Middle East, India, Thailand and across Africa.

Also welcoming US Counsel General Greg Burton to the event, Ms O’Neill said negotiations with regulatory officials there were also progressing.

“Our relationship with the US is strong, our joint histories are intertwined and I look forward to sending beef to Boston very soon.”