‘Agri-food industry needs resolution with China’ – Ritchie

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Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
Politics
SDLP MP for South Down, Margaret Ritchie, has urged the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the DARD Minister to work with the Chinese Consul General to come to a trade agreement with China for the export of poultry and pork from the UK. Margaret RitchieRitchie, who hopes to return as a member of the EFRA Select Committee in this Parliament, said, “There is currently no trade agreement for the export of poultry and pork from the UK to China, which is a missed opportunity for farmers in Northern Ireland. “I have raised this issue with DEFRA on a number of occasions, with the Minister assuring me that this has been identified as a priority market. “However, an answer provided by the Department to a question I recently tabled did not detail any progress that has been made on the need to reach a resolution on this issue,” she insisted. “It is vital that DEFRA and DARD work with the Chinese authorities for benefit of our agri-food industry, which has no access to this potentially hugely lucrative market. Ritchie added, “This issue must progress with haste and the Secretary of State and DARD Minister must build upon our export opportunities to underpin the success of this thriving industry across Northern Ireland.”

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