SINGAPORE - Singapore has been tapping Poland as a source of meat supply in recent years. According to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), the latter has been an approved source of pork products since 2010 and there are currently four approved pork plants for the export of frozen pork cuts to Singapore.
AVA figures show that the volume of imported frozen pork products has risen from none in 2010 to about 530 tonnes last year and is currently running at about 430 tonnes up till September this year. AVA continues to make efforts to diversify Singapore's food sources. Earlier this year, a delegation of food importers went to Poland as part of this drive.
"AVA led a delegation of food importers to Poland on a meat-sourcing mission from May 9 to May 14, 2013. The delegation visited various meat establishments (e.g. slaughterhouses and processors), meat associations and government agencies to better understand the meat industry in Poland and build trade relations with Polish business partners. A business matching session with Polish meat exporters was also conducted," said an AVA spokesman.
Poland has been identified as a potential source of pork import for Singapore as it produces a large volume of pork products for export. Poland's pork establishments use advanced technology in their production process and its pork cuts are of high quality and at competitive prices.
"The meat-sourcing mission was part of AVA's food source diversification efforts to ensure a resilient food supply for Singapore. AVA hopes that Poland will become a viable option for Singapore traders to source for more good quality and competitively priced frozen pork," she added.
"I first began working with the Polish meat exporters a few years ago, after meeting them through a business matching session in Singapore. The process is relatively smooth as their export manager was able to communicate in fluent English," said BH Fresh Food executive director Vic Lee.
"The overall experience is good as they are patient and willing to listen, which allows us to exchange ideas. There may be the occasional problem such as their product specifications being different from Singapore's local demand," he added.
The overall experience, however, has been productive for both sides and Mr Lee looks forward to expanding the relationship. "Their positive attitude and commitment to us as a business partner, as well as their willingness to share and listen to our suggestions are the advantages of working with the Polish meat exporters. Our business relationship had already been expanding from the start, and I believe this relationship will continue to grow in the future," he noted.
Likewise, Tiong Lian Food managing director Benson Teo found working with the Polish exporters a good experience. "It has been a pleasant experience as the Polish pork exporters are very pro-export and show great interest to increase exports to Singapore," he said.
Mr Teo was able to leverage on the Poland trip with AVA to network with several interested Polish pork exporters and began discussions on the potential of exporting frozen Polish pork to Singapore.
Mr Teo was also upbeat on working with the exporters in the future. "Due to the advanced technology they use in their slaughterhouses, the Polish pork exporters are able to provide to us price-competitive and high-quality pork. We see great potential in Poland and look forward for more opportunities to expand our relationship," he concluded.
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