Helping Northern Ireland meat exports
Published:  08 February, 2013

An initiative to help Northern Ireland meat exports grow has been made by Invest Northern Ireland along with the Livestock and Meat Commission.

Northern Ireland meat companies will be helped to keep up to date with global opportunities and will be offered easy access to ‘live’ data, analysis, forecasts and trends in global meat markets.

The announcement was made at a special briefing for meat industry leaders in Belfast, by Invest NI’s executive director of business and sector development Jeremy Fitch, who said: “Our link-up with GIRA will enable beef, pig meat, poultry and sheep meat processors here to sharpen their competitive edge by the access that it provides to accurate and up-to-date research and analysis of the world’s meat markets.”

Fitch stated the organisation’s strategic focus lay in assisting companies in enhancing their competitiveness.

“Access to this research will allow Northern Ireland meat companies to obtain knowledge about market trends and forecasts for slaughter, production, consumption, trading conditions, prices, to see where the meat industry is going in both the short and long term, and to develop strategies for those regions and markets where they sell today and where they must be selling tomorrow to ensure growth,” he added.

Stating the importance of the industry, Fitch claimed: “Meat is a vitally important sector within food and drink, the largest manufacturing sector with 23% of output producing more than £4bn sales, mostly outside Northern Ireland.

“Food and drink is also the largest single sector employer in manufacturing, with 20,000 employees in processing operations and a further 70,000 on farms and other industries, such as packaging and transport. The beef, sheepmeat, pigmeat and poultry sectors together contribute almost £2bn to the economy and employ around 10,000 people.”