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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2015 2016
30 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2015-16 MARKETING, MARKET ACCESS & TRADE Trade, Market Access and Marketing (continued) This is a competitive market for sheepmeat as China is the world’s biggest producer of sheep and New Zealand has an advantage due to having tariffs removed as of 1 January 2016. MENA is a challenging political/economic environment with regional conflict, low oil prices and fluctuations in international business visitors. It consists of traditional sheepmeat eating nations which, combined with a range of cultures and economies, creates a diverse and strong market for Australian sheepmeat. The sheepmeat marketing strategy has focused strongly on point of difference in an attempt to differentiate from local competitors such as India and northern Africa. Building and fostering relationships to position Australian sheepmeat as safe, consistent, versatile and nutritious has been a key focus area. For example Halal integrity, food security and food safety are features of the education and training programs that have been delivered across trade, retail and food service throughout the region. Chef Tarek is used very successfully to gain consumer confidence in Australian sheepmeat across a large and diverse cultural community (see case study on Chef Tarek). South East Asia (SEA) including the markets of Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and Vietnam are dynamic markets with real opportunities but activities in these developing markets is focused on establishing relationships rather than marketing product. In the past decade Australian sheepmeat export volumes to the region grew by 141%. In value terms, sheepmeat shipments to these SEA countries earned Australia A$228 million in 2014 (growth of 215% from 2004). The EU is a market that needs to be managed strategically. MLA has facilitated growth by assisting importers and exporters to diversify Australian red meat markets to a greater number of export destinations throughout Europe with noticeable growth in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Nordic countries. As quota availability for market access remains restricted, there has been a focus on a value growth strategy and support for the trade to take Australian lamb closer to the consumer in order to deliver greater returns through the entire value chain. Skilled marketing and promotion has increased exports of Australian lamb from 14% in 1990 to 57% in 2015 and 96% of mutton is now exported to an estimated 70 overseas destinations. A growing population and middle class across key developing markets will drive demand for sheepmeat products and future focus and target investment must be on consumers who have a propensity to pay. Chef Tarek in MENA The Middle East and North Africa region is made up of traditional sheepmeat eating nations. They have become substantial importers of Australian lamb and sheepmeat as it has been positioned as safe, consistent, versatile and nutritious. Chilled lamb exports into the Middle East in 2014-15 have increased 186% on 2009-10 volumes. The True Aussie Lamb branding has been successfully introduced into the market to build on brand Australia and the attributes of Australian sheepmeat. Religious festivals and seasonal campaigns have been used in partnership with retail to drive consumer awareness. A consumer survey in 2015 found that over half the consumers in United Arab Emirates were aware of the True Aussie logo for lamb and over 74% believed it guaranteed the product was safe to eat. The past five years have seen Chef Tarek transition from a consultant to MLA to a full-time employee. With this investment MLA has developed and built Chef Tarek into a trusted celebrity Master Chef and TV personality who can credibly talk about Australian lamb attributes, Halal integrity and demonstrate cooking methods. Building on Tarek’s relationship with Fatafeat TV, Tarek’s awareness and popularity was accelerated with MLA funded programming and sponsorship. Three Chef Tarek series have been completed on Farafeat TV with the shows aired three times per day for 60 days to 55 million households in 21 Arabic speaking countries with an audience of 300 million. In 2013, Tarek Ibrahim became the first Arab chef to be nominated and receive the coveted status of Master Chef from the World Association of Chef Societies (WACS). Chef Tarek has built a loyal audience and is trusted in homes across the MENA region. Future opportunities include having Tarek film a television show in Australia where he will take his audience on a paddock to plate journey and educate his audience on Australian lamb attributes and the Australian multicultural way of life.