International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has announced that a new deal with China could be worth almost £250m over the next five years to the UK dairy industry.
Mr Fox, who is currently on a trade mission to the country, told BBC Radio Ulster that Lakeland, which processes milk from north and south of the border, could be one of the main beneficiaries of the deal.
The agreement is said to increase flexibility in the supply chain, meaning producers in Northern Ireland, for example, can export products made using milk from across the border.
Speaking from Bejing Mr Fox described it as a major deal for UK dairy which could also bring benefits for Northern Ireland.
He said the deal would help companies that source milk south of the border.
A spokesperson for Lakeland Dairies said: “We welcome any trade agreements which enhance the possibility of further export growth towards China. Northern Ireland has excellent potential to supply high quality dairy products to meet increasing demand for dairy worldwide. Our Global Logistics Centre at Newtownards is also well equipped to support this requirement. The building block for all of this is the high quality milk sent to us for processing by our milk producers and which we make into a wide range of value added dairy foodservice products and food ingredients.”