EU-Japan FTA Presents Great Opportunities for Danish Crown

DENMARK - The EU-Japan free trade agreement may help to significantly boost pork exports to Japan. Danish Crown's budgeted pork exports to Japan of more than DKK 3 billion in 2017 are now expected to increase.
calendar icon 6 July 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

"This agreement is positive for Danish Crown in every way. We see a potential for increasing exports. We believe that it may lead to better prices for our products to the benefit of our Danish farmers, and over time it is my clear hope that we may be able to create 100 to 300 new jobs in Denmark," says Jais Valeur, Group CEO of Danish Crown.

Pork exports from Denmark to Japan began in the mid-1970s and really took off in the 1980s. Until now, a complex Japanese customs system has prevented Danish Crown from expanding its collaboration with its Japanese customers.

"The free trade agreement creates better opportunities for exporting high-quality specialty products to Japan. Danish Crown already has a foothold in this Japanese market which is supplied from our abattoir in Ringsted, Denmark. Now our task is to increase sales and strengthen customer relationships, and fortunately the Japanese market has already indicated its interest in doing so," says Mr Valeur.

The free trade agreement not only opens up new opportunities, but it also helps to safeguard exports which last summer appeared to be challenged by abattoirs in the USA and Brazil. Back then, the USA had just closed the TTIP free trade agreement with Japan, among other countries, and EU negotiations with Japan had stalled. President Donald Trump has since then scrapped the agreement, and now the EU has successfully closed its own agreement.

"We have in fact overtaken our largest competitors. I would therefore like to praise officials in Denmark and the EU, and not least the European Commissioner for Agriculture Paul Hogan, who have spent thousands of hours on securing the deal. They have given Danish Crown fantastic opportunities for increasing its exports to Japan. Now it is up to us to exploit them," says Mr Valeur.

The Japanese market already accounts for a considerable share of Danish Crown's streaky bacon and brisket sales. Last year Danish Crown exported more than 100,000 tonnes of pork to Japan.

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