Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA, has welcomed the news that Taiwan will soon be welcoming British pork products for the first time.
He said the new agreement is expected to be worth more than £50 million to the UK pig sector over the next five years, with even some industry leaders suggesting that if the UK’s export potential was to rise to match the strong demand for pork imports in Taiwan, the new deal could in fact be worth as much as £100m.
Mr Swann added: “Breaking into this new market with parts of the pig carcass that are not commonly in demand in the UK can only be good news for the UK’s pig farmers as whole carcass prices should now hopefully increase.
“This is a very positive development, especially coming so soon after other new pork export markets have been opened and after the decision by China to lift its ban on British beef.
“I believe that Taiwan was just one of several new potential export markets that had been running inspection visits to the UK lately, with South Korea and Japan also eagerly exploring British produced meat.
“This goes to show the UK’s ongoing reputation for top-quality produce, something which will no doubt be even more important as we leave the EU in only seven months’ time.
“It is my understanding that after exporters are approved by DEFRA, and once eligible organisations are listed by the Taiwanese and export health certification has been finalised and released, UK exporters will be able to begin trading.
“I have now written to DAERA locally to make sure that such farms and establishments in Northern Ireland are also fully involved and eligible under this new export deal. It would be a travesty if the ongoing political stalemate got in the way of us maximising this new major market.”