British beef has gained access to the US market for the first time in some twenty years, as reported by us here.
The first shipment of UK beef to the USA was supplied by a beef processor in Northern Ireland, agriculture minister, Edwin Poots, has confirmed.
The shipment was dispatched on September 30th, from Foyle Food Group, Foyle Campsie with further shipments from across the UK expected to follow in the coming weeks.
Processors, Foyle Food Group and WD Meats, have been listed as meat plants eligible to export meat to the United States, alongside one other UK processor from Wales.
‘A massive opportunity for local farmers’
Welcoming the move, he said: “I am very proud that the first shipment of UK beef to the USA came from a Northern Ireland beef processor.”
“It is a signal, loud and clear, of the quality of our produce, the standards of our animal health, welfare and of our care for the environment.
“This opens up a massive opportunity for local farmers, the likes of which we haven’t had in two decades.”
“Our local farmers are known and rightly credited for quality of the food they produce and its provenance.”
“I’ve no doubt that our food will speak for itself and we will see further opportunities down the line.”
£66 million boost to beef producers
The UK food and farming industry estimates it will bring a £66 million boost to beef producers over the next five years alone and Northern Ireland too “will receive part of that economic uplift” he added.
“This is fantastic news for Northern Ireland’s food industry, and I don’t want it to stop there.”
“I want to do all I can to promote Northern Ireland’s amazing food and its producers, both locally and at international level, and help build Northern Ireland’s reputation as a world-class food region.
“I’d finally like to thank everyone involved behind the scenes, who have worked long and hard to get this deal done,” Poots concluded.