£5 million of meat product imports are expected to be impacted by a five-day strike of meat and ports workers across Northern Ireland according to ALPS Marine analysis.
The port of Belfast, along with Larne and Warrenpoint, as well as meat processing plants are affected by the strike action, which started at midnight on Sunday.
Belfast has an annual flow of trade of $78 million, with $58 million in imports, with meat products representing 10.4% of all imports.
Members of the Nipsa Union, which works across the Veterinary Service Animal Health Group in the Department of Agriculture, Environmental and Rural Affairs (Daera) are taking part in the strike that is expected to last until Friday.
According to RTE, both green and red lanes at ports are expected to be affected, and it is anticipated that the strike may lead to ports either shutting down imports of some products or not carrying out checks required by the EU. The Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) said the strike has come at the "worst possible time", in the lead-up to Christmas.
Suki Basi commented on the disruption:
“The Ulster Farmers Union confirmed that the strike is going to have a massive impact, but that one of the difficulties they face is not fully understanding what that impact is going to be. Uncertainty is a nightmare for business. This is why having access to real time data and analytics is so important, particularly at a time when factories are looking at the run-in to Christmas when they increase their capacity to satisfy Christmas demand. To develop a proactive risk management strategy, you need the insight that data provides, overlaid with an analysis of events, threats and potential scenarios that allow a business to take the necessary action to act and remain viable.”