EU agriculture chief plans major beef drive

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Phil Hogan wants to highlight the meat industry's role in the climate change agenda
Phil Hogan wants to highlight the meat industry's role in the climate change agenda

Related tags European commission International trade European union Beef Lamb Pork Poultry

The European commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Phil Hogan, has confirmed Brussels wants to place a “bigger emphasis” on beef over the next three years.

Hogan has confirmed the European Commission will be placing special importance on the EU’s beef sector, as it continues to support other meat sectors, between 2017 and 2020.

Speaking at the European Meat and Livestock Trading Union’s (UECBV) annual general meeting in Rotterdam, Hogan said: “We will be making a bigger emphasis on the beef and meat sectors in 2017-2018 and 2019 in order to highlight the role of the meat sector in the sustainability agenda.”

GlobalMeatNews​ understands the “bigger emphasis​” Hogan referred to will include a series of promotion programmes for the meat sectors. At the beginning of 2017 Hogan is expected to publish a call for proposals for promotion projects spanning 2018-2020. One of these will incorporate sustainability as this site understands the European Commission thinks the beef sector should take an opportunity to promote its contribution to climate change and other environmental challenges.

TTIP support

Whilst Hogan​ has not publically announced this, he did stress that he remained in favour of the embattled Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership​ (TTIP) with the US, noting the deal would be good for the EU meat businesses.

The Commissioner said he was pushing forward with plans for EU businesses to gain access to other third-country markets, through the negotiation of free trade agreements (FTAs), with Canada​ (CETA) earmarked as a priority target.

Digital trends

Jos Goebbels, UECBV vice-president said reinforcing EU meat exports to third countries was a good thing, but stressed the EU needed to be strong in lifting sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measure so trade is a two-way street.

At the UECBV’s AGM, talk also turned to how Europe’s meat exporters could make better use of online shopping tools to reach a wider customer base.

E-commerce doesn’t make you more distant to your customers, it is the opposite. You need to fully understand its demands to ensure the customer will click again next time,​” said David Bloch, the founder of France online-only meat store Marcel Muller.

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