Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has congratulated WD Meats in Coleraine on winning approval to supply premium steak products to Singapore.
WD Meats is the first Northern Ireland based meat company to secure approval from animal health authorities in Singapore to supply products for retail and foodservice operations there.
The Minister is currently in Singapore as part of a visit to support Northern Ireland companies seeking to develop business there and in other South East Asian markets.
Arlene Foster said: “Winning approval to supply premium meats to this important Asian marketplace is an immensely important development for WD Meats. It is one of only three processors from the UK cleared to supply imported beef in a market that could be worth around £10million.
“The new business opportunity follows a decision by the Singapore government to lift a ban on UK meat following the BSE outbreak in Great Britain. WD Meats has a strong track record in exports and is positioned to develop opportunities in Singapore.
“Our hope is that other markets, including China, will follow Singapore’s example, creating new opportunities for our red meat companies to supply their products.”
Francis Dillon, Managing Director of WD Meats, said: “We are now actively marketing our range of premium steak products and aim to finalise arrangements with suitable representatives in what could be an excellent marketplace for us.
“The agreement to lift the ban means that beef processors will now be able to export cuts of de-boned beef from cattle aged 30 months to Singapore. It follows pressure from the UK Government and gives us a strong position in the market.”
Reflecting on the trade mission to Singapore, the Minister added: “It is clear strong business links are being forged between Northern Ireland and Singapore, and indeed throughout South East Asia as a whole.
“I have been hugely impressed by the warmth of the welcome I have received and the positivity shown towards what our local companies have to offer. Singapore and Northern Ireland have much in common, in that we are both relatively small but punch well above our weight when it comes to delivering excellence in a wide variety of sectors. Our shared ‘can do’ attitude will hopefully mean we can continue to do more business together in the future.”