EU meat producers would like a bigger bite of Vietnam's market

Vietnam is a promising market for EU beef, pork and meat products, the Poland-based Union of Producers and Employers of the Meat Industry has said.

There had been rapid growth in EU meat exports to Vietnam in the last three years, it said.

Export of pork, for instance, went up in the period from 822 tonnes worth EUR933,630 (US$1 million) in 2012 to 6,149 tonnes worth EUR6.7 million (US$7.2 million) last year, Agnieszka Rozanska, UPEMI's managing director, said.

Beef and meat product shipments had also shot up, with export of meat products increasing by over 70 times, she said.

Pork exports by Poland, one of the biggest meat producers in the EU, had increased sharply, but the country had not exported beef to Vietnam and was in the process of getting approval for it, she said.

UPEMI is implementing a campaign called "Tradition and quality of European meat" in three target markets — the US, the Republic of Korea, and Vietnam — to promote the advantages, quality and principles of production of fresh, refrigerated and frozen beef and pork and products made from these meats.

The main goal of the three-year campaign (2013- 2016) is to increase exports of European meats and meat products to the target markets and deepen knowledge of the quality, flavour and production standards there.

The EU's meat exports to Vietnam were expected to rise by over 5% next year, Rozanska said.

The Vietnam-EU free trade agreement, which is expected to conclude this year, would create more advantages for EU meat exports to Vietnam, she said.

Europe is famous for its quality beef and pork as a result of breeding based on stringent EU regulations and the care given to every element of the food chain.

Mariusz Boguszewski, economic counsellor at the Polish embassy in Hanoi, said trade between Vietnam and Poland was worth US$1.5 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 30%.

Vietnam enjoyed a surplus with Poland, with its exports being worth US$1.3 billion, he said, adding that Poland wanted to boost its agricultural exports to Vietnam to narrow the deficit.

Rozanska said UPEMI along with seven Polish companies would take part in the 2015 Food and Hotel Vietnam to be held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from April 21 to 23 to introduce and promote EU meat products.