Dunbia starts shipping product to India, eyes further exports

Dunbia starts shipping product to India, eyes further exports

Meat processor Dunbia has sent its first shipment to India after the market opened to Northern Irish meat at the end of 2015. 

"This shipment represents a significant opportunity for Dunbia and our pig farmers and is the beginning of what we hope will be a long and profitable relationship with India which is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world. The first container has been very well received by our Indian customers and we are currently consolidating further containers for shipment," chief executive Jim Dobson said. 

The company revealed plans are "underway" to ship further containers to India in the "coming months". 

India is one of a number of emerging markets for beef and pork exports from Northern Ireland that Dunbia has been pushing to open. The company recently signalled it is also gearing up to start exports to China and Dunbia is eyeing expansion into Canada. 

"We have been working closely with [Department of Agriculture and Rural Development] Minister Michelle O'Neill to secure new markets for Northern Ireland beef and pork," Dobson explained.  "In addition to India, Canada has also been secured for beef exports while Dunbia has recently received provisional approval for exports to China.  

"These markets have been secured through a co-ordinated approach which has seen industry and government working together towards a shared goal.  It is all very positive news for the Northern Ireland Agri-Food industry and bodes very well for the future but we cannot rest on our laurels.  We need to exploit every opportunity and seek further new markets, such as US, Philippines and Australia."   

Dunbia is one of the UK's largest meat processors, processing beef, pork and lamb for local, national and international markets. The company currently trades in 36 countries world-wide.

Earlier this month, Dunbia reported higher sales and earnings. The group also confirmed that it continues to mull options for the business. Dunbia said it had received "several serious expressions of interest from would-be investors" in the past two years.