PORK EXPORTS from Northern Ireland to Australia have been given the green light, following new agreement between their respective veterinary authorities.

The province's Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Perpetua McNamee, said: “DAERA continues to invest much time and energy into opening new markets to expand the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland. This approval to export pork represents a tangible outcome in our long-term global engagement strategy and also represents achievement in securing access to one of the new markets outlined in the Going for Growth initiative.”

Agreement on the text of the export health certification was the final stage in a lengthy negotiation process for officials in Belfast and Canberra, enabling pork exports to commence immediately for food businesses that meet the biosecurity and food safety standards required by Australia.

Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Pork and Bacon Forum, Deirdre McIvor, said: “I’m delighted that we have secured approval to ship to the Australian market, just weeks after the news was announced that trade commenced between Northern Ireland and China.

"This further underpins the NI pork industry’s export development. It addresses seasonal aspects in trade with particular interest in the first quarter of the year, the Australian summer. Export markets are vital to achieving carcase balance and as an industry we are proactively looking at new opportunities across the world."