The promotion of Quality Standard Mark beef on foreign markets is a simple affair: listening and fulfilling importers' requirements; offering a professional, unfussy and targeted approach; and above all making sure that the potential client tastes the product.
That was the case at the recent Tutto Foods exhibition, the major Italian food show taking place in Milan. The matured prime beef for tasting won once again the plaudits of the discerning Italian foodservice and retail operators, who know a thing or two on beef quality, Italy being the largest consumer of high quality beef in Europe.
QSM beef has now returned to Italian retail shelves and sales are expanding fast. The product is sold on quality not on price, a result achieved after two years of sustained marketing efforts. It is rated higher than beef from Argentina.
The idea that the UK (and Europe) does not need to produce its own beef and can rely on Argentinean beef imports is a fallacy.
Next year, Argentina is due to become a net importer of beef, a historical event, due to poor economic returns for the gauchos, the growing monoculture of soya and the difficult climatic conditions.
Salvation will not come from Brazil either, due to a combination of low or negative abattoir profitability, droughts and falling production and a myriad of difficulties, the latest involving the main local supermarkets chains and banks refusing to buy or lend to companies involved in violations of environmental or social rules.
There is a clear and sustained demand for the quality beef we produce. The current high prices should herald a renewal of this industry.
Jean-Pierre Garnier BPEX and EBLEX export manager
27 October, 2016, 8:30
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