Growing demand in Vietnam for foreign meat

(VOV) -The Vietnam government has given the green light to the importation of fresh and frozen meat from the US, Canada, Australia, and European Union (EU).

At a recent press conference in HCM City, representatives of the Union of Producers and Employers of the Meat Industry (UPEMI) said they welcomed the opening of the market.

It provides the opportunity for European-standard meat products to get a ‘vital foothold in this key market’ they said, adding that Vietnam is not just a new market, it’s the highest value market in the Southeast Asian region.

The country with its young growing population, presents promising prospects for, most especially, Polish meat exports both in the short term and the long term.

They were hopeful that the decision by the governmental officials would spill over and have a positive effect on their ability to gain access to other markets in the region as well.  

The union has also undertaken a campaign to promote the quality and flavour of the meat European meat processors will ship to the market with the aim of bolstering sales throughout the nation.

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Foreign products favoured in Vietnam

Over the past few years, from supermarkets to retail stores, Australian and US beef have flooded the Vietnamese market.

Vietnam has surpassed China to become the second-largest importer of Australian cattle, and retail stores throughout the nation have been replacing, particularly, domestic with Australian beef.

In June 2014, Vietnam also opened the door to Japanese beef, enabling more than 20 meat exporters from Japan to officially distribute the famed Kobe beef brand in the country.

Recently, in March 2015, the Minister of Agriculture of Canada led a corps of the country's meat producers to promote Canadian beef in Vietnam focusing on a restaurant chains, hotels and retailers.

“Currently there are more than 100 meat exporters from the EU licensed by Vietnam veterinary authorities to ship meat to Vietnam,” said Ms Agnieszka Rózanska, managing director of UPEMI.

For 2015, the EU has targeted to boost meat exports to Vietnam by 5% over the figures for 2014 she said, adding that Vietnamese love of pork is fueling the growth.

In 2013, Vietnam imported only 744 tons of pork from the EU but in 2014, that number bellied up to 6,149 tons.

As of the end of 2014, Vietnam also imported more than 1,720 tons of beef from Europe (more than 70 fold that sold in 2012).

Economic growth, a flourishing hospitality and food services industry and changing consumer tastes all have given rise to an elevated demand for imported meats in the country, she stressed.

She added that this presents a great opportunity for Polish meat suppliers to further capture this growing and vibrant market.

Poland uses the latest frozen meat preservation technology. Its meat products can be preserved for up to 18 months and still remained stable— far surpassing the 14-21 days Vietnamese meat can be preserved.

Mariusz Boguszewski, economic counselor at the Poland Embassy in Vietnam, in turn revealed there are now up to 40 Polish government licensed meat imports into Vietnam.

Thighs and boneless pork tubes are the leading products shipped to Vietnam he said, adding that Poland is the fourth largest meat exporter of the EU with frozen meat leading the pack.