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19/06/2018

"The meat sector is more attractive when you see it up close"

Meat Attraction will hold its second edition this year. The Meat Sector's International Fair enables the sector to showcase Spanish meat to the rest of the world. ICEX Spain Trade and Investment considers these fairs to be essential as they offer a way to create proximity with international buyers. We discussed them with María Naranjo, who heads ICEX's Department of Foods, Wine and Gastronomy.

Question- How does the meat industry measure up in terms of internationalization at the moment?

Answer- It's one of the main drivers of exports in Spain's agri-food sector. In 2017, 6.3 billion euros worth of meat was exported, reflecting growth of 8.76% compared with 2016. This is a spectacular performance within the general trend of ongoing growth in exports over the last two decades.

It's worth noting that, if you look at the sectors that have been the most dynamic in exports, we see segments such as frozen meat and offal, live animals and also ham.

Q.- The very successful Fruit Attraction fair will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and Meat Attraction will hold its 2nd edition. How does ICEX support these types of industry fairs?

A.- ICEX aims to strengthen these events internationally. Our support is focused on the search for, and selection of, importers to participate in the programs as guests, which most fairs have. To that end, the Network of Economic and Commercial Offices look for those people who are the most interested and have the potential to buy the most, and they invite them to the fairs. That's what we did with Alimentaria through our Food and Drink Business Meetings, which were co-funded by the FIAB, and we support events such as Fruit Attraction, Salon Gourmets, Fenavin and this year's Meat Attraction.

We also raise awareness about the fairs in the international media and through our websites with a view to attracting international exhibitors, strengthening the global reach of these events.

10 Products with the Greatest Export Growth 2008-2017

Mineral water 209%

Frozen meat and offal 176%

Nuts 152%

Live animals 130%

Bread, baked goods and cookies 129%

Ham and shoulder 111%

Pasta and grains 108%

Animal feed 105%

Olive oil 103%

Oil seeds and fruit and industrial crops  95%

 

Q.- As you know the companies that participate in international fairs with ICEX, the meat industry is very powerful in Spain. What potential does this fair have to help companies with internationalization?

A. From our standpoint, the fairs held in Spain are ideal in view of the many Spanish companies' participation in large international fairs. Meat Attraction will bring importers and buyers to Spain and allow visitors to see our factories before or after the fair. We could even say that Spanish meat companies are more appealing in person because their capacity for innovation and their outstanding procedures are visible. This possibility should be leveraged even more by exhibitors that participate in Meat Attraction. ICEX tries to organize and promote visits among those sub-sectors (beef, pork, poultry) where there are a large number of buyers interested in learning more about companies in the meat industry.

Also, since Meat Attraction is a very specific kind of fair, it provides an excellent platform for the entire meat sector and all of its advances in terms of traceability, modernization and sustainability.

Q.- As you know the companies that participate in international fairs with ICEX, the meat industry is very powerful in Spain. What potential does this fair have to help companies with internationalization?

A. From our standpoint, the fairs held in Spain are ideal in view of the many Spanish companies' participation in large international fairs. Meat Attraction will bring importers and buyers to Spain and allow visitors to see our factories before or after the fair. We could even say that Spanish meat companies are more appealing in person because their capacity for innovation and their outstanding procedures are visible. This possibility should be leveraged even more by exhibitors that participate in Meat Attraction. ICEX tries to organize and promote visits among those sub-sectors (beef, pork, poultry) where there are a large number of buyers interested in learning more about companies in the meat industry.

Also, since Meat Attraction is a very specific kind of fair, it provides an excellent platform for the entire meat sector and all of its advances in terms of traceability, modernization and sustainability.

Q.- What new projects is ICEX rolling out to help companies strengthen the international growth of Spain's agri-food industry?

A.- We are trying to offer new programs every day which are adapted to the opportunities available in international markets. In certain strategic countries, such as the US and Canada, we have launched comprehensive plans that offer a wide range of actions so that companies can explore new channels such as HoReCa and online, for example, together with activities that strengthen our products' images in niches such as gourmet or organic products. Moreover, we have created new tools, such as virtual tastings, which enable us to present products such as wine and olive oil to importers, journalists and opinion leaders without having to travel to other countries. We're also focused on digital: in 2017, we created the online store Foods & Wines from Spain on Amazon, which already operates in the UK and Germany and will soon be available in other EU markets. E-commerce is a channel that can help SMEs explore new markets. In China, we've also reached an agreement with JD Fresh, one of the main online platforms, to promote the presence and visibility of Spanish products. Meat products are one of the main types of products on that platform.

Q.- With regard to the activities organized at Meat Attraction, this year you will include the first edition of the Meat Attraction Buyers Meetings, which has the support of ICEX. How do you view this initiative? What does it offer exhibitors?

A.- This area, for bilateral meetings with importers, is a basic instrument for leveraging the fair. The opportunity to show your product portfolio to importers from countries with enormous buying capacity, who are coming to Spain precisely because of their desire to expand their portfolio with Spanish suppliers must not be squandered.

In a nutshell, companies choose the countries from which they want to meet with importers, based on their real export capacity vis-à-vis those markets (export licenses and requirements for each country, proven logistical capacity, etc.).

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