SPAIN - Beef and cattle organisations in Spain are joining forces in a bid to defend domestic sales and consumption and boost exports by finding new markets.
The move follows the publication of a report commissioned by the Department of Agriculture “Analysis of the internal and external determinants of beef and veal meat production in Spain. Current Situation and foreseeable evolution."
Spanish production of beef reached 582,000 tonnes in 2013.
The report shows that Spain exported 126,160 tonnes and imported 105,360 tonnes and has a national herd of 406,000 head of cattle.
The Spanish Dept. of Ag. General Secretary, Carlos Cabanas, who chaired the presentation of the report, highlighted the importance of the beef sector and the need to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of the Spanish beef industry by developing a strong sectoral structure, according to Cecilia Ruiz the Madrid Office Manager of Bord Bia, theIrish Food Board.
He said there were possibilities in the application of the new CAP-direct payments with adequate levels of coupled payments, the strengthening of market measures and sectoral cooperation through producer organisations and his department’s efforts to improve the value chain and the development of associative integration, with a focus on internationalisation and innovation.
Asoprovac (Cattle Finishers Association) and ANICE (National Association of Meat Industries) were more explicit, Ms Ruiz said.
Beef consumption in Spain has fallen by 10.7 per cent in the last eight years while beef and livestock exports have grown by 11 per cent, so while investing in communication to try to recover domestic consumption, the sector should concentrate in opening new markets to continue to build exports, both for beef and livestock, for which they see great potential, they said.
To this end, the main cattle and meat associations and agri-trade unions (Anice, Anafric, Asoprovac, Aprosa, Cedecarne, Fecic, Asaja, COAG, UPA and CA) have joined to create an inter-professional platform, “Provacuno,” to bring the sector together to defend the national product in the domestic market and to build exports.
Ms Ruiz backed the Irish presence in the market and called on the Irish sector to continue to reinforce the premium positioning of Irish beef as a different and complementary product to Spanish veal production, due to the extensive production system, grass feeding, breed selection, tenderness, marbling and maturation.
TheCattleSite News Desk
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