On March 31 – April 6, 2019, the mission of European exporters and professionals from the meat industry to the United States and Canada took place. During their stay in North America, the members of the European delegation had the opportunity to meet representatives of the American and Canadian meat industry and representatives of public and economic institutions.
In Canada, the delegation visited the International Fair “Grocery & Specialty Food West” in Vancouver. During the two days of the event and beyond, the European delegation held several business meetings with importers, distributors, and representatives of the retail chain from Canada. The program of the trip also included a visit to one of the oldest market halls in Vancouver, where there are popular sales points with a wide range of meat and preserves, including products imported from Europe. As a result, the delegation members could get to know the current offer and expectations of Canadian customers.
The second part of the mission was a visit to the United States and stay in Los Angeles, California, where on April 3 there was a workshop entitled "High quality of European meat – tradition and passion" organized in cooperation with the Foreign Trade Office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency. The meeting was dedicated to the qualities of European meat and the formal and legal requirements of export to the US market. These aspects were discussed by the representatives of American state and commercial institutions and representatives - the members of the European delegation.
The meeting was opened by Wiesław Różański, the President of the Union of Producers and Employers of the Meat Industry (UPEMI) – the organization initiating the campaign entitled "Meat of European quality".
In addition, Agnieszka Różańska, Managing Director of UPEMI, also spoke, and a presentation was given on "The European system of pork, beef and meat products production – safety and quality" by expert Ewa Rak. Karolina Zatorska, the head of the Foreign Trade Office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in Los Angeles, gave a speech on Polish-American trade relations. The American speakers included Stephen Cheung, President of the Los Angeles branch of the World Trade Center and Christine Peterson, Director of the International Trade and Investment Department at the Los Angeles City Hall. In addition, the attorney George Salmas discussed the legal framework for international meat marketing, and Paul Naccachian, an academic lecturer and FDA expert, touched on the issue of American regulations concerning meat import.
The workshop was attended by importers, distributors, representatives of industry organizations and experts in the field of export-import conditions. In addition to hearing thematic lectures, the numerous participants had a unique opportunity to exchange experience and discuss terms of cooperation during direct meetings between members of the European delegation and American importers and representatives of the retail chain.
Later in Los Angeles, the mission participants met with Carlos J. Valderrama, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, who in an extremely interesting way presented the principles of how the Chamber operates and the conditions for trade between the United States and individual regions of the world. The meeting also opened up the opportunity to address some pervading issues and discuss the opportunities and chances for trade cooperation between Poland and the state of California.
A practical complement to the program of our stay in the United States were visits to stores and sales chains combined with meetings with the representatives of these points. The European delegation met with the management of a chain supermarket offering premium foods and also visited the oldest market hall in LA. The meetings were combined with a presentation of the stores, sales positions, as well as a discussion about the current product range as part 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 was a great start to building long-term business relations between North America and the European Union.