The Polish Beef Cattle Breeders Association (PZPBM) recently received around €825,000 from the European Union to concentrate on its Quality Meat Program (QMP), as part of an EU scheme to support the promotion of EU agricultural products both within and outside the EU.
Jerzy Wierzbicki, president of PZPBM, told GlobalMeatNews.com: “The objective of the programme is to highlight the Quality Meat Program (QMP) certification system, which guarantees the high quality and safety of beef produced. It is in line with a scheme to increase target groups’ awareness of the QMP system and advantages of meat produced in accordance with the system by 30%.”
Beef consumption in Poland has fallen dramatically over the past 25 years, down from 17.4kg per capita in 1988 to 2.4kg per capita in 2010. Although the estimated figures for 2011 show a slight rise to 2.5kg per capita, domestic consumption still only accounts for around 24% of the total production of beef in Poland, which stands at 391k MT production.
Wierzbicki explained that the best quality cattle and beef are exported – around 78% or 309k MT of the total beef production – so it is difficult to find quality beef on the polish market. The crux of the programme has therefore been designed to highlight the characteristics that determine the premium quality of the products, the safety of the meat and its culinary versatility.
He said: “The programme will be addressed to consumers (mainly individuals making shopping decisions, inhabitants of bigger cities with above average income), indirect clients (distributors, restaurateurs) and key opinion-leaders (culinary and nutrition pundits, journalists).
“The Society of QMP Beef Enthusiasts, an on-line consumer club established to reinforce the campaign as the core element of its website, will form the backbone of the programme. It will also bring together all individual activities addressed to target audiences. The Society will form the hub, focusing all communication activities, a communication platform for all stakeholder groups, including consumers, distributors, restaurateurs and opinion-leaders as well as producers and beef processing companies operating in line with the QMP system, eager to obtain a certificate and expand their sales market.
“The Society of QMP Beef Enthusiasts will administer the website featuring updated info about implemented activities, present the ‘QMP Master Chef’ competition, distribute direct mailing and the newsletter.”