AHDB looks to Asia for new opportunities

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

AHDB looks to Asia for new opportunities

Related tags: Beef, Pork, Lamb

British businesses are being encouraged to consider Asia as a target market in a new report by the UK's Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Its latest Horizon insight report, Exploring Asia: Understanding consumer needs​, outlined the potential of the market as well as providing insight into consumer attitudes to food, shopper demand and the larger retail offering.

AHDB’s tips for exporting to Asia

Check health certification:​ Make sure you check all health certification to enable you to export to Asia. You can check these by visiting www.ukecp.com

Experience the market:​ One way to really know your chosen country is to visit the destination. AHDB trade shows in the Asia-Pacific region are a great platform to get an idea of the market

Understand your product’s local fit:​ It’s vital that you understand the key selling points of your product and the attributes it has which make it appealing in the Asian marketplace

Labelling and packaging:​ It’s imperative that you ensure all of your key selling points and product specification meet technical and customer requirements

Realistic time frames:​ It takes time to build a successful overseas business, so be patient and take the time to build your relationships

AHDB international market development director Phil Hadley explained why Asia should be a focus for British processors. “With 4.5 billion people living in Asia, rising levels of disposable income and a growing appetite for meat, dairy and potatoes, there’s an abundance of opportunities for our exporters.”

The report revealed how the ‘tiger’ economies of Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea had exploded, creating a larger wealthy middle class willing to spend money on higher-quality food produce from abroad.

Citing GlobalData research, the report outlined how Asia-Pacific was the largest market for meat in the world, valued at US$288.1bn and representing a 30% share of global value sales. GlobalData expected this to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.2% until 2023, driven by a rise in demand for frozen meat.

Some of the eating trends identified by the AHDB report included more Western-style eateries in China, the use of beef skirt, tongue and brisket in Japan, bone-in cuts in Malaysia and offal cuts in Philippines.

It explained how consumers in Asia were more concerned about health and safety than before, particularly in countries such as China and Vietnam where there is low trust in the food system.

AHDB head of Asia Jonathan Eckley said this had created a great opportunity to sell the British brand in Asia.

“From our work in Asia, we have found that meat from the UK has a good reputation, not only for its taste and high quality but also for the food-safety standards we have in the UK,” ​he said. “In many regions, the main priority for consumers is the safety of the meat they eat, therefore it’s vital that we ensure all measures are in place to maintain our high standards through rigorous inspections and continuous monitoring. We have seen that, in countries such as China, issues surrounding disease outbreaks, food contamination and low safety standards are taken incredibly seriously and can lead to countries being banned from exporting to these markets.”

Eckley recently outlined some of the progress being made​ on gaining approval for commercial beef exports to China following a visit from Chinese delegates earlier this month.

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