After three years of pending approval for importation, the Department of Agriculture has finally signed on May 4 a department order allowing Spanish beef to be exported to the country. Spain will be added to the Philippines’ current roster of beef exporters such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan as well as fellow European countries Ireland and Germany.
Compared with other beef products that are tender and have a distinct meaty smell, Spanish beef is juicy without marbling, has a firm texture and possesses a unique and pleasant aroma. This is the result of the Spanish beef cattle feeding system that uses cereals and oilseeds as feedstock. The Spanish beef industry also adheres to the European Production Model, a premium standard of food safety known for its transparency and traceability of food production as well as low environmental impact in livestock production.
According to Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura chair Rosendo So, this trade success isn’t a threat to the local meat producers since the demand for beef is fairly low because of its price. “We’re not a beef-eating country because it’s expensive. Most Filipinos cannot afford it. It’s a premium segment of the market,” So says in an Inquirer interview.
The 2020 meat consumption forecast shows that pork remains to be the most consumed meat by Filipinos with 14.91 kilograms per person annually, followed by chicken at 13.71 kilograms per person annually. Beef comes in at third with only 3.15 kilograms per person annually, just about a fourth of the annual pork consumed by Filipinos.
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