An export development programme running through to 2018 is being planned by the pigmeat industry in Belgium, potentially supported by 50% EU funding.
The programme, which has been put together by the Belgian Meat Office, has been prompted by the country’s ban-induced loss of 30,000 tonnes of pigmeat exports to Russia. The potential long-term value of the new export drive, of course, will run well beyond the expected ending of the Russian action next year.
The goal is to increase Belgium’s existing exports to third countries, which currently run at around 100,000 tonnes a year.
“After thorough market research, we have made up a three-year programme in the hope of getting this plan co-financed by the EU,” a spokesperson for VLAM, the umbrella body for Belgian meat exports, told Pig World. “The programme includes China, Japan, South-Korea, South East Asia (Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam) and Australia as target countries.”
Securing funding approval from the EU is expected to take until April 2015, with the planned programme due to run from May 2015 to April 2018. Outline development activities include increased involvement in major food exhibitions in the target countries, individual B2B meetings with potential customers, advertising in the specialist media and a new website focus.
“If the programme is approved, the EU will fund 50% of it,” said the spokesperson, “with the rest being provided by the Belgian pigmeat sector.”
The Belgian Meat Office, coordinates pork, beef, and veal export marketing activities, operating under the Flemish Centre for Agricultural and Fisheries Marketing (VLAM) umbrella.