Icelandic lamb producer Fjallalamb has been granted a licence to export lamb to China, RÚV reports. It is the first and only company to have received such a licence. Björn Víkingur Björnsson, Fjallalamb’s CEO, says he’s happy about the development, though Iceland will remain the company’s main market.
The company is licensed to begin export with the slaughter season this fall. Fjallalamb has been in talks with several interested buyers, but has yet to discuss the amount of product exported or the price. According to Björn, it’s not possible for Fjallalamb to sell all of their product on the Icelandic market, so the export licence is a welcome change. He adds, however, that he places importance on organising the export wisely and looking to the future.
Lamb needs to be from scrapie-free area
A health certification on Icelandic lamb is part of the requirements put forth in a trade agreement made between Iceland and China last fall. The exported meat may only come from lambs under six months of age which are born and bred in scrapie-free regions. Slaughterhouses, meat packing centres, and storage centres where the meat is processed or held must also be located in scrapie-free regions.
More producers could start export
Hjalti Andrason of the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority says four other slaughterhouses fulfil the health requirements for exporting lamb to China, and a fifth will do so next year. Lamb lovers in China can likely look forward to increased availability of the tasty product.