Emerging markets set EU a challenge

The world meat trade is changing, and European countries will no longer be able to dictate terms,

according to Dennis Clark of Towers Thompson.

Speaking at Anuga in Cologne last week, Clark said Europe would have to start competing more heavily with emerging markets. "As the world becomes richer, places like Brazil will find other markets for their products.

"Over the last 20 years, we in Europe were able to dictate terms and the pace of change, but emerging markets are becoming more important and we are having to compete. Unless we pay more, we'll start seeing less quota coming in."

He said prices were already starting to rise in South America, with less product going

through the processors and

that simply knocking imports in the UK market did not serve anyone's purpose.

"Meat will become more expensive and people will only be able to eat meat once a week or even once a month. As a meat industry, do we want that?" he asked.

Clark said there also needed to be clearer labelling on menus to show country-of-origin. "You should be able to go into a restaurant and be able to choose from six different origins. Why can't we do that for meat?

"As importers, we are proud of what we do and what we

import. We want to give people the choice."