AHDB Beef & Lamb has long identified Poland as a lucrative market for Quality Standard Mark (QSM) lamb. Over the last couple of years the levy board has actively worked to develop the market; recent activities have included working with a Polish TV programme and supporting a lamb-based cookery competition.
The gambit has clearly paid off. Earlier this week AHDB Beef & Lamb won the Breakthrough Trade Award at the Make Europe Work! Business Awards 2016 – a competition awarding excellence in developing international trade. The levy board was praised for its work in boosting exports of British lamb to Poland.
Analysts claimed that Poland has become a major QSM lamb market and may be worth £43m (€59m) in export sales over the next four years.
“Poland offers great opportunities for UK sheep meat exports, thanks to its low domestic production coupled with an increasingly affluent population and growing consumer interest in experimenting with different cuisines,” said head of AHDB exports Jean-Pierre Garnier.
“The award is testament to the cooperation between the UK industry and the network of the British Polish Chamber of Commerce (BPCC), with which we are working closely to maximise the potential of the market in both the retail and foodservice sectors.”
With a large population and a surge in Poles pocketing bigger incomes, there is a growing demand for international meat products. Poland is historically known as a pork and poultry producer and has a fairly limited domestic lamb production.
Earlier in the year, Garnier said there was “clearly an opportunity there for us [QSM lamb exporters] to explore”. AHDB plans to run further promotional events in Poland to lay the foundations for lamb exports to flourish in the country.