The second study mission to the United States and Canada took place from 4th to 10th of November 2019 as part of the “Meat of European quality” campaign. This time, the campaign’s experts - European exporters and professionals from the meat industry - visited Austin (USA, Texas) and Toronto (Canada, Ontario). Their stay in North America provided an opportunity to meet representatives of the American and Canadian meat industry and representatives of public and business institutions.
In the United States, the delegation took part in the MICA 58th AGM & Conference in Austin, organized annually by the Meat Import Council of America, an industry association of meat importers.
The possibility of meeting and conducting direct talks with European exporters was met with great interest. During the 2 days of participation in the conference, the European delegation held a series of B2B business meetings with importers, distributors and representatives of sales networks from both the USA and Canada. The stay schedule also included visits to a shops with a wide range of meat and preserves. Thanks to this, the members of the delegation could get acquainted with the current assortment and the expectations of American customers.
The second part of the mission consisted of a visit to Canada and a stay in Toronto where, on 8th of November 2019, a workshop entitled “The high quality of European meat - tradition and passion” was organized in cooperation with the Foreign Trade Office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency. The meeting was devoted to the values of European meat and the formal and legal requirements for export to the Canadian market. These aspects were discussed by representatives of the Canadian government administration and industry entities, as well as representatives of the European delegation.
The meeting was opened by Wiesław Różański, President of the Union of Producers and Employers of the Meat Industry (UPEMI) - an organization initiating the campaign entitled “Meat of European quality”. Moreover, Katarzyna Skrzymowska, Head of UPEMI Office, also spoke on the European side, and a presentation entitled “European standards of pork, beef and processed products production - safety and quality” was delivered by Jarosław Czech, an expert.
Canadian speakers included Gary Stordy, Director of Government and Corporate Affairs of the Canadian Pork Council, Olja Marjanovic-Bibic, Maintenance Specialist at Cole International Logistics and Customs and Kevin Remond, Operations Specialist for the Ontario Area at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, who presented the Canadian import system for meat products and discussed import regulations in detail.
The workshops were attended by importers, distributors, representatives of business organizations and experts in the field of export and import conditions. In addition to the possibility of listening to thematic lectures, the numerous participants had a unique opportunity to exchange their experiences and discuss the conditions of cooperation during direct meetings between the members of the European delegation and Canadian importers and sales network representatives.
A practical supplement to the entire stay in Canada were visits to shops and sales networks combined with meetings with representatives of these points of sale. The European delegation met with the management of a shop with its own facilities for preparing and packaging meat products, as well as chain supermarkets with a wide range of meat and meat products. The meetings were combined with a presentation of shops, sales stands, as well as a discussion of the current assortment of products within the framework of the display of goods, packaging and sales techniques.
The stay of exporters and professionals from the meat industry in the United States and Canada comprised a continuation of building long-term business relations between North America and the EU countries. Thanks to this, the European Union strengthens its position as an important trading partner for the USA and Canada, and European export grows on a year-to-year basis.