Karro Food receives congratulations for progress in the East

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment, Jonathan Bell, has offered his congratulations to Karro Food Group following the news that the company’s pork plant has been provisionally recommended for approval to export to China.

“The announcement earlier this week that Karro Food has provisionally been recommended for approval to export pork to China is hugely significant,” said Bell.

“In the next decade it is expected China will surpass Europe and become the largest consumer of pigmeat. As well as increased trading opportunities, this announcement represents a massive vote of confidence in the quality of Northern Ireland meat.”

These opportunities in China come after Karro Food unveiled a new state-of-the-art chill facility in Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

“Karro Food is a significant employer in Cookstown and a perfect example of the excellence in our local agri-food industry,” the minister added. “The company continues to play a central role in developing Northern Ireland’s pork sector. They recognise the integral role farmers play in business, sourcing meat locally and working with farmers to ensure high animal welfare, traceability and quality.”

To help develop the new chill technology, Invest Northern Ireland offered Karro Food £715,000. In addition, the company is expanding its office facilities, as well as developing a new marketing suite, new product development kitchen and meeting facilities.

“The completion of its new chill facility will mark a milestone in the company’s investment strategy and will enable Karro to boost efficiencies to deal with an ever-increasing globally competitive industry,” said Bell. “I have just returned from a week-long trade mission to China and plan to continue to work to represent our meat processing industry there with the aim of securing export licences for poultry, beef and lamb.”

Meanwhile, Seamus Carr, chief executive of Karro Food Group, commented that the chilling facility will help the business in the long run. “Investing in our new chilling facility is an exciting development for the business and we’ll be among one of the first companies in the world to use this state-of-the-art technology,” explained Carr.

“It will help us to generate greater efficiencies in carcase chilling and production, improve meat quality and increase slaughter capacity. The extension to our premises will also enable us to grow our butchery capacity and process more added-value lines.”

Carr added that the future was looking positive for Karro Food, with plans to broaden its horizons further still.

“Our long-term investment plans are progressing well and we continue to focus on building our export sales, particularly in the US and Asian markets. We remain committed to working closely with the local farming industry to ensure the future sustainability of the Northern Ireland pig industry.”

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