Northern Ireland farm minister pledges support for poultry sector

Northern Ireland farm minister, Michelle McIlveen, has pledged to continue working to help deliver growth for the country’s poultry sector including pushing for poultry meat access into China.

Ms McIlveen made her comments during a visit to the poultry production and processing business, Moy Park, when she told the company’s chief executive, Janet McCollum, that the Northern Ireland government saw the poultry sector as a “key economic driver” for the country’s agri-food ambitions.

“Poultry producers, and the wider agri-food sector, are important players when it comes to growing our local economy,” said the minister, adding that she was very impressed by Moy Park’s recent investment of £25 million in its business and its close and highly effective working relationship with poultry farmers.

“I will continue to work to deliver growth for the sector including support for companies such as Moy Park by exploring new export markets. Our recently introduced £12m Sustainable Use of Poultry Litter (SUPL) loan scheme also helps develop new sustainable ways to utilise poultry litter and has made good progress thanks to the work of Moy Park in partnership with government.”

Ms McIlveen also visited nearby farmer, Neil Symington, who supplies poultry to Moy Park, commenting that as global forecasts indicate a growth in demand for poultry meat, she believed it was important for her to meet Moy Park’s senior management and hear the challenges they are facing.

Ms McCollum replied: “Farming is at the heart of our business, as we partner with 600 farmers across Northern Ireland, who supply poultry to the highest quality and welfare standards. We were delighted to have the minister visit one of our farming partners near Dungannon.”

Headline image shows Janet McCollum (left) with Michelle McIlveen

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