Contrary to what might be expected, a lot of beef is consumed in Japan, even despite enormous popularity of fish and seafood. Cattle is raised in Japan, including renowned and highly respected Wagyu breed. Japans’ own production does not however meet the demand so a part of the meat is bought abroad. The solution to cover the beef deficit in Japan is import, also from Poland.

The Agreement between the European Union and Japan for an Economic Partnership (EPA) has been in force since 1 February 2019. It eliminates tariffs and other regulations limiting the trade, including a large part of agricultural products. This agreement creates new possibilities for Polish-Japanese cooperation. The export of Polish beef to Japan has been steadily growing (3346 tons with the value exceeding Euro 14 million in 2019), indicating a huge trade potential between Poland and Japan. Thus, Polish producers look into the future with hope, counting on further dynamic beef export growth. Polish beef producers are ready to expand trade. It is  confirmed by a continuous competence increase and wider product range adapted to the expectations of the most demanding Japanese customers.

The “Polish beef on the Japanese table” programme has been initiated by the Union of Producers and Employers of Meat Industry (UPEMI), a leading organization uniting about 130 entities from the Polish meat sector. UPEMI is an association representing its’ members towards public institutions, running promotion and marketing campaigns. It also takes action for expanding the sales network as well as international contacts, raising internal production standards and spreading the use of good production practices.

Just like the previous programme carried out in 2018-2019, the “Polish Beef on Japanese Tables” campaign is addressed to Polish beef exporters by trainings in the scope of Japanese partners expectations, and also to Japanese beef importers and distributors. Under previous activity on the Japanese market, in November 2019, UPEMI organized for current and potential beef exporters an information seminar in Warsaw with lecture delivered by a Japanese speaker. The trade mission to Japan took place in February 2019, featuring a lot of B2B meetings and store-checks, and a gala dinner with Japanese officials and beef sector representatives. All actions within the programme were proceeded by a detailed communication strategy and complemented with information materials addressed to the target groups, i.e. Japanese importers and Polish beef producers. In its day-to-day operations, UPEMI focuses on establishing effective trade contacts, so the activities in Japan are conducted in a constant cooperation with the Polish embassy in Tokyo and Foreign Trade Office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency.