For example, more than 65 markets are now open for beef and 74 markets for sheep meat outside the EU as a result of EBLEX/AHDB working with government.
And the figures are encouraging. Beef exports – muscle meat as opposed to fifth quarter – have recovered well, hitting the 105,000 tonnes mark in 2013. Sheep meat exports have performed very strongly with a 19 per cent increase in total exports between 2006 and 2013.
These have been driven almost entirely by the increase in non-EU exports which have risen from less than one per cent to more than 17 per cent of total exports. Indeed, most of these gains have taken place over the last two years, over which time non-EU exports have increased by 200 per cent with key markets in the Far East and West Africa.
It’s imperative then, to showcase what we have to offer the world. After all, you’re not going to help stimulate demand in a global market without telling anyone about it. Our exports and events team play a vital role in ensuring we have a presence at key trade shows around the world to tell key players in existing and potential new markets about the full range of products from frozen commodities to premium beef and lamb.
Earlier this month, for example, EBLEX and BPEX participated for the second time in the Restaurant & Bar Show in Hong Kong, the leading fine dining and bar exhibition in Asia-Pacific. With its focus very much on the top-quality food service and the bar market showcasing premium beef and lamb.
|Delegates at the show|
The busy show, dedicated to the Hong Kong food service sector, attracted more than 18,000 visitors. Chefs and food buyers were invited to taste premium beef and lamb and able to compare our product against competing top-end products present on the demanding local market. It’s all about taste and some of the best produce from all over the world was on offer in Hong Kong.
|Jo Hawley, UKTI Director of Trade and Investment for Hong Kong (centre) and EBLEX Export Manager jean-Pierre Garnier in discussion with delegates at the show|
In addition, EBLEX held a beef seminar during the event on September 5 which was attended by 55 chefs and press, the highlight being five beef dishes presented by Michelin-starred chef Jeremy Biasiol there’s nothing quite like consumers in new potential new markets sampling our produce to help underpin our export work.
Export volumes to this region are certainly heading in the right direction but competition is fierce. The more we can do to build on what we have developed so far, the better, and participating in events like the Restaurant & Bar Show in Hong Kong will continue to play a crucial role in our continued export success.