Spanish beef will now be available for Filipinos to enjoy after the Department of Agriculture allowed its importation after three years of negotiation.
Bureau of Animal Industry director Ronnie Domingo confirmed in a text message to the Inquirer that Agriculture Secretary William Dar signed a department order last May 4 accrediting the government of Spain to export beef in the Philippines.
This will allow the European country to compete with other beef exporters to the country, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan.
Unlike other beef variants known for their tenderness and high fat content, Spanish beef is known for its firmness.
Spain is the fourth-biggest beef producer in the European Union and the 14th largest exporter in the world.
Despite this new development, local industry stakeholders said this would not have any significant impact in the market given Filipinos’ low preference for beef, adding that with the current landscape for international supply, it might be cheaper for consumers to buy locally produced meat.
“We’re not a beef-eating country because it’s expensive. Most Filipinos cannot afford it. It’s a premium segment of the market,” Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura chair Rosendo So said.
Domingo said meat consumption forecasts showed that Filipinos’ demand for beef and veal combined would be only at 3.15 kilos per capita, against 13.71 kilos per capita for chicken and 14.91 kilos for pork.
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