As we await confirmation that we can continue to export dairy products to China, the situation raises a number of points over the future of China and a potential market for Irish dairy produce.

The inspections took place months ago and the repercussions of a response and our Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s response are all being considered by the Chinese. We weren’t the only country put under the microscope – inspectors from China have visited 10 countries in recent weeks, including New Zealand; Australia and the UK. As a result, the UK has seen its dairy exports temporarily banned from China, where all suppliers of dairy products conformed to the new Chinese Food Safety law due to be implemented from May 1, 2014.

Issues relating to maintenance, air sanitisation, raw milk transport temperatures and chemical storage were cited as the reasons for the temporary ban.

We’ll find out in the next 24 hours whether or not Irish exports are affected. Is this a way to limit our supply or, indeed, hand pick where supply and product comes from, by the Chinese? Eitherway, it places questions marks over the future of China and the potential hoops to be jumped through for future dairy produce sales.