Northern Irish pig producers who were directly impacted by Cranwick’s temporary closure in August will be given financial support next year.
Production at the pig processing site in Co Antrim temporarily stopped following the discovery of a Covid-19 cluster amongst workers.
At the time, Cranswick, one of the UK's largest pig processors, said the health and safety of all its colleagues was its number one priority.
DAERA Agriculture Minister Minister Edwin Poots has now met with the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and Propork Ltd, a pig marketing group, to discuss the impact of Covid on the sector.
He heard about the challenges faced by farmers supplying Cranswick's plant when it closed temporarily, and the financial impact it had on their businesses.
The minister said he was willing to offer 'some government support' to offset the losses incurred.
"Further details of the scheme will be announced in the next few weeks but payments should not be anticipated until early in 2021," Mr Poots said.
UFU deputy president William Irvine said it had been a 'very difficult period' for the region's pig sector.
"This support will be vital to help sustain farm businesses," Mr Irvine said, "we will continue to work with DAERA to get this scheme launched so pig producers can benefit from this support as quickly as possible.”
Around 11,300 Northern Irish livestock farmers have already received approximately £18.1m in recent weeks to offset the losses incurred as a result of the pandemic.