UK pork firm Karro Food Group said it plans to double its exports to China over the next two years once it receives clearance for its site in Northern Ireland.

Karro, which was formed after Vion’s UK pork assets were sold in an MBO earlier this year, exports to the US, Japan and China from its two main plants in Cookstown, Northern Ireland and Malton, North Yorkshire.

While both plants are USDA-approved, a spokesperson for Karro said the company is hoping to gain export clearance from the Chinese Government for its Cookstown plant this autumn. Malton is already cleared for exports to China.

The green light, the spokesperson said, would enable the company to double its export volume to the country. 

“Karro currently only exports to China through its site in Malton. When the application goes through for Cookstown, the firm could see its current exports double in size. China is an appealing market for Karro as some of the products which are seen as non-premium in the domestic market, have a much higher value in the Chinese market.”

Karro exports GBP60m to GBP70m per year to the US, Japan and China. It does not break out figures for individual countries.

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Last month, Karro said it plans to use an injection of capital from investment firm GE Capital to support growth in the UK and overseas. The GBP60m (US$91.2m) funding package is expected to provide the firm with the “fire power” to invest in the business and accelerate growth, it said.