Europe’s meat players join trade mission to Asia

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan will also discuss the EU-Vietnam free trade deal
Agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan will also discuss the EU-Vietnam free trade deal

Related tags European union International trade Beef Lamb Pork Poultry

European meat and poultry players have joined EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan on a “diplomatic offensive” trade mission to capitalise on Asia’s economic growth.

In total, 22 meat and poultry levy boards and processors from the European Union (EU) joined a business delegation travelling to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Indonesia this week.

Among those in attendance are meat processor Danish Crown​ and its rival from Germany, Tönnies​. Doux​ from France is attending, as well as the UK’s Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB​), and the Dutch Association for Poultry Processing Industries (NEPLUVI).

Who’s on the plane?

  • European Live Poultry and Hatching Egg Association (ELPHA) and European Poultry Breeders (EPB)
  • AVEC (Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in the EU) 
  • The Belgian Meat Federation (FEBEV) (Belgium)
  • The Danish Agriculture & Food Council and Danish Crown (Denmark)
  • Doux (France)
  • Sva Jean Rozé (France) 
  • Tönnies (Germany)
  • Landgeflügel (Germany)
  • Kométa (Hungary)
  • Bordoni (Italy)
  • Vion Food Group (Netherlands)
  • Dutch Association for Poultry Processing Industries (NEPLUVI)
  • Poland’s National Poultry Council (Poland)
  • Union of Producers and Employers of Meat Industry (Poland)
  • National Pig Farmers Union (FPAS) (Portugal)
  • Romzelag (Romania)
  • Interporc (Spain)
  • Olot Meats Group (Spain)
  • Grupo Jorge (Spain)
  • Tello Group (Spain)
  • FACCSA (Spain)
  • AHDB (UK)

Paul Henri Lava, policy adviser at the Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade (AVEC), a non-profit body set up to boost exports of EU chicken meat, said the objectives were twofold: firstly, to boost exports and find out what possibilities there are to explore opportunities in “interesting markets​” with a growing middle class; and secondly to reduce trade barriers.
€100 trade budget

The mission comes after the EU agreed to make over €100 million available from the politico-economic union’s budget to promote food products in third countries and boost consumption of EU produce outside the Eurozone.

During the tour, agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan will meet the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, alongside the country’s ministers of agriculture and health. Political meetings are also in the pipeline to meet the head of Indonesia’s Food and Drugs Supervisory Agency, Dr Penny Kusumastuti Lukito, and the secretary for Food and Health of Hong-Kong, Dr Ko Wing-man.

High on the agenda will be the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement​. Negotiations are complete, but a legal review of the text is now underway. The deal still needs to gain approval from the EU Council of Ministers. This will be followed by EU ratification.

‘Large potential’

I’m continuing my diplomatic offensive of 2016, by visiting Vietnam,​” said Hogan in a press statement.

With a population of 90 million, Vietnam is a fast-growing and dynamic economy, with huge potential to continue growing in the coming years. During our mission, I will be accompanied by 42 representatives of EU agri-food businesses active in sectors with large potential in Vietnam and Indonesia. The total turnover of the European companies that are represented in this mission is in excess of €170bn.

Importantly, there are producer groups and cooperatives heavily represented, so that the European farmer can have a direct route to global markets. They will be meeting buyers and potential business partners in order to highlight the quality of our products and introduce to importers and authorities the stories and values behind our agricultural production.​”

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