England and Scotland visit Philippines on trade mission

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Members of AHDB and QMS visited key importers in Manila
Members of AHDB and QMS visited key importers in Manila
Beef and pork exporting opportunities are being explored as part of a two-day British meat trade mission to the Philippines.

The UK’s Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) are leading the visit in Manila, alongside eight processors from the UK, to meet with key importers and distributors.

The aim of the visit is to gain a better understanding of the needs of the marketplace and opportunities that exist for UK meat exports.

During the visit, the UK party has the chance to speak to the Philippine Association of Meat Importers, discuss production protocols and food safety standards, as well as engage in a question-and-answer session with the Philippine authorities.

The mission follows an announcement last summer that UK beef was given export approval to the Philippines, estimated to be worth £34 million (m) over the next five years. The country first opened its doors to UK pork more than a decade ago, with the UK’s market share increasing substantially over that period. UK pork shipments grew four times between 2015 and 2016, with pork offal shipments rising by 40% during that time.

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and AHDB worked with the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP), the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Scottish Government together with QMS, and other UK levy boards and government departments to secure the deal.

Jonathan Eckley, AHDB Export’s head of Asia-Pacific, said: “This two-day mission is an important part of an ongoing process to identify opportunities and increase our meat exports to the Philippine market. The Philippines is the largest food and drink market in south-east Asia, with meat consumption expected to grow by 10% over the next five years​.

The mission has allowed us to not only find opportunities for UK beef exports, but also to increase our offering of pork – a market we already enjoy a great deal of success with​.”

Laurent Vernet, director of strategic engagement with QMS, said the market could offer an important opportunity for Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb sales growth in the coming years.

The Philippines offers a significant future market, particularly for parts of the beef and pork carcase which are not typically in strong demand on the home market. This offers the potential for Scottish exporters to maximise their potential return from the whole carcase​.”

Meanwhile, Wales is looking beyond Europe as Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) showcases PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef at two major shows; Food and Hotel Asia in Singapore on 24-27 April, and SIAL Montreal in Canada on 2-4 May.

Given the uncertainty over markets and tariffs at the moment, we have to focus on several objectives at once​,” explained HCC market development manager Rhys Llywelyn. “We must maintain links with our vital European customers, as well as developing markets further afield, and redoubling our efforts in the UK​."

The presence at the two trade shows, as well as other events and activities over the next year, is funded by a £2m pot of AHDB red meat levies, ring-fenced for collaborative projects and managed by AHDB, HCC and QMS.

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