Changing diets in Vietnam a boon for European meat exporters

By Dam Tuan http://e.vnexpress.net/

Local consumers also favor imported products amid growing concerns about food safety.

Fresh and frozen meat imports from Europe have more than tripled over the past three years as an increasingly affluent Vietnam now has a bigger appetite for meat.

The European Commission reported that the export value of meat products from the E.U. to Vietnam was EUR7.37 million ($8.18 million) in 2013, but it surged to EUR23.3 million ($25.88 million) in 2016. It will continue to grow this year, projected to hit EUR25 million.

Over 100 European enterprises have been licensed to export meat to Vietnam. Among them, 40 are from Poland, mostly shipping gammon and marrow bone products.

Russian exporters are also eying the Vietnamese market, planning to move a large amount of pork next year. Rusagro Group, one of the country’s biggest food producers, has recently been granted a license to export its products to Vietnam next year.

With new free trade agreements between Vietnam and European countries coming into effect soon, it is likely that meat imports from Europe will flow in steadily.

changing-diets-in-vietnam-a-boon-european-meat-exporters

Foreign pork and beef products are favored by many Vietnamese consumers. Photo by daidoanket.vn

According to local media reports, it is now easy to find European, as well as Australian and U.S., meat products such as beef, pork, chicken and duck in supermarkets and shops across the country.

Prices of beef imported from the E.U. or the U.S. are not much higher than those of local products. But many consumers favor imported meat due to food safety concerns that have plagued the Vietnamese food market recently.

Agriculture experts warn that Vietnamese meat producers may be defeated on their own playground if they fail to lower prices and improve quality.

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