Poland Looks to Asia to Export Pork

POLAND - Following Russia's ban on imports of pork from Poland on the grounds of a risk of African Swine Fever, the Polish Minister of Agriculture has announced upcoming meetings with future trading partners in Asia.
calendar icon 11 April 2014
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Speaking at a meeting to promote high-quality Polish meats for the Easter meal, Agriculture Minister, Marek Sawicki, discussed the current situation in the country's meat industry.

Invited experts consistently and strongly emphasised that Polish products meet the highest quality standards, making them a showcase for country on foreign markets.

The Minister stressed that Polish food is of the highest quality in terms of appearance, taste and nutritional quality, making it attractive to foreign buyers as well as meeting the expectations of domestic consumers..

He said that his department is working to restore stability in the pig meat market, and talks have already started with partners who have placed an embargo on Polish pork and pork products.

On trade with eastern markets, he said that talks took place last week during an exhibition in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas and an official invitation has been made to the Minister of Agriculture of Ukraine, proposing a meeting in Warsaw.

In May, an official visit is planned to Poland's trading partners in Asia, he added, because they are the fastest growing markets and most promising.

The Russian embargo does not threaten the Polish pork industry, said Mr Sawicki, adding that the ban affects just 10 per cent of the country's exports, while the figure is up to 78 per cent for other EU member states.

Chief Inspector of Quality of Agricultural and Food (IJHARS), Stanis?aw Kowalczyk, said that, in the current geopolitical situation, trade in food becomes a 'weapon'. He expressed surprise that the country in which there are many outbreaks of African swine fever has placed a ban on products from a country where there have been no outbreaks of the disease in livestock.

Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Jaroslaw Naze, stressed that the African swine fever virus does not threaten human health. There have been just two cases in Poland - in wild boar found near the border with Belarus. Poland does not have disease in farmed animals, and pork and its products are safe for consumers, he said.

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