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Danish organic meat exports to Asia rising

By Poorna Rodrigo , 19-Dec-2016

Danish Crown called Asia a 'promising market' with strong potential for growth
Danish Crown called Asia a 'promising market' with strong potential for growth

Denmark’s organic meat exports to Asia, fuelled especially by sales to mainland China and Hong Kong, rose steadily in 2015 compared with the year before.

This promising market now accounts for 4% to 5% of total organic meat exports from this key European meat producer, growing from zero in 2013, industry experts have said.

In 2015, Asian buyers purchased €1.39m (US$1.45m) worth of organic meat from Denmark, up from €0.45m (US$0.46m) in 2014, according to data supplied by Peter Bernt Jensen, advisor at the Danish Food and Drink Federation (DI Fødevarer). Despite the steady growth, the 2015 share of Denmark’s total organic meat exports to Asia was at 4.2%, cracking Denmark organic meat’s previous dependence on Europe.

In terms of Chinese sales, Denmark’s total organic product sales tothat country, including meat and dairy products, were worth DKK71m (US$10.80m) in 2014, and shot up to DKK240m (US$33.69m) in 2015, according to Danish Agriculture and Food Council data.

Danish Crown happy with demand

Europe’s largest meat processor Danish Crown was upbeat about Asia’s prospects. “We have no doubt it [sales to Asia] will pick up,” Danish Crown spokesman Jens Hansen told GlobalMeatNews, adding, “It’s a promising market.” Indeed, Denmark’s supply of organic meat is far below potential demand and more produce can still be sold into Europe – with Germany is being its largest buyer, he said. For the time being, European prices are higher than those in Asia. It’s matter of “not having enough goods” to supply, he noted.

Denmark’s total organic exports have grown steadily according to DI Fødevarer data. Total exports worth €23.10m (US$24.10m) in 2013 increased to €27.56m (US$26.67m) in 2014 and went up further to €33.18m (US$34.62m) in 2015.

DAFC organic food and farming chief advisor Ejvind Pedersen advised that Danish exporters to China needed to work hard to get access. “Exporting to China is difficult,” as both exporting processors and organic farmers need to be organic-certificated first under the terms of China’s organic food regulations, Mr Pedersen told GlobalMeatNews. It means that the Organic Food Development & Certification Center of China had to come to Denmark to control and certify a farm and its processor he said, adding that certification was expensive and administratively complex.

The Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) has ranked China as the world’s fourth largest organic market, with the US top, followed by Germany and France in second and third slots.

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