Vietnam: a promising export opportunity for British pork producers

A new report by AHDB will arm exporters with crucial information on the Vietnamese marketplace as work continues to gain access for UK pork.
calendar icon 25 March 2020
clock icon 4 minute read

With work ongoing to secure market access for Vietnam, AHDB has launched the second instalment in its series of Country Focus reports to maximise the opportunities once access is granted.

Vietnam is potentially a valuable market for UK exports with the country importing around £1.7 billion of red meat last year – almost a million tonnes of beef, lamb and pork.

Work has been ongoing since 2017, with AHDB working in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), APHA, FSA, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) and other organisations including UKECP.

AHDB’s Head of Asia Pacific Jonathan Eckley said: “Vietnam is potentially a key market for our red meat exports, with consumption needs far outstripping domestic production.

“Pork is by far the most favoured meat in the country but beef is growing in popularity, presenting further opportunities in the future for our red meat exports.

“We continue to work with Defra and other industry bodies to open the market for pork and we hope that once access is granted, shipments will begin immediately – adding to the already impressive volumes being sent to the Asian marketplace.”

The new Country Focus report shows that the EU is a major supplier of pork to Vietnam, with imports coming from Poland and Germany, with Russia and the US also key suppliers.

The report also looks at buying behaviours, projected growth in the economy and population, as well as consumer trends and concerns.

AHDB Retail Insight Analyst Zoe Avison said: “The report shows that Vietnam has a vibrant economy and a youthful population that is increasingly experimenting with international cuisines.

“Meat consumption quadrupled between 1990 and 2018. Dairy consumption is also rapidly growing, particularly into foodservice with butter for bakeries and cheese for pizzas. Food safety is a key concern for Vietnamese consumers after a number of scares so British food has a great story to tell.”

The Vietnam report is accompanied by a second Country Focus report which explores opportunities in Canada – where the UK has had market access for pork, beef and lamb for around five years.

While the UK currently sends only small quantities of meat to Canada, latest trade data shows a significant increase last year, with exports of some cuts increasing tenfold.

According to the report, price is a top concern for Canadian consumers and has been for several years, as well as keeping healthy food affordable. Convenience is also important in terms of both meal options and shopping experience, as many Canadian consumers are time-poor.

These latest Country Focus reports follow the first three editions which focused on the USA, China and Japan – launched at the Oxford Farming conference in 2019.

AHDB Senior Consumer Insight Manager Steve Evans said: “Understanding consumer trends in international markets is critical to long-term export success. AHDB’s Consumer Insight team have been working closely with the export team to provide a topline look at consumer eating habits and buying behaviour in these key target markets.

“British exports have a great story to tell and understanding the needs of consumers in target markets can help exporters identify the key consumer opportunities. For example, messages around food safety and production would resonate stronger in South East Asia than in the EU or north American markets.”

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