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21 March 2019

The Minister of Agriculture states the Government's commitment to the sheep industry

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In a meeting held with brothers Enrique and Mario Oliveira Moralejo on behalf of Interovic.

The visit to Puebla de Sanabria by the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, to participate in the Forum on Depopulation has also served to maintain a working meeting with the representatives of Interovic.

On behalf of the inter-professional grouping, as Deputy Chairman thereof, Enrique Oliveira Moralejo, head of the lamb meat company Moralejo Selección, said that we are at "a decisive moment in the sector, given that Spain will become the biggest producer of sheep in the EU after Brexit. This means that Spain would become the leader in the sheep market with its incorporation of sheep products in their different variants: live, in carcass, packaged, processed or in its variants of gourmet and selection to markets of the European Union such as France, Belgium, Germany and other Central European countries, with a large percentage of citizens of Arab origin, potential consumers of products related to lamb and its derivatives".In the same vein, the Minister of Agriculture has expressed the Government's commitment and support to "expedite with the Government of China exports to its market".

On this issue, Enrique Oliveira stressed that "the Inter-professional grouping is investing resources in the opening of the first world market for sheepmeat; besides, in collaboration with MAPA, we are taking part in trade fairs to increase the visibility of Spanish sheep to Chinese authorities and companies. In November, we were visited by a group of Chinese authorities, with the aim of agreeing on a protocol that will allow the opening of the market. This means that this market is about to be opened up, so we understand that the only missing ingredient is that of strong institutional support, to finalize the protocol negotiations that will allow the opening of the largest market in the world to Spanish sheepmeat".In this line of collaboration, the Inter-professional grouping, which is INTEROVIC, also informed the Minister of Agriculture of the work that is being done to improve conditions in the sector. On the one hand, to increase the frequency of consumption by those who are already consumers, through two European promotion programmes, as well as, through various campaigns financed with funds from the sector itself, raised through the extension of the Standard.

Enrique Oliveira and Mario Oliveira, who head the Moralejo company, which has its headquarters in Arcenillas and more than 230 workers in Zamora, informed Planas that "in addition, our meat companies are working to find new foreign markets; which, as shown by export data, they are achieving. For this reason, INTEROVIC is also working on a European programme in four third-party countries in order to consolidate such markets. However, the sector needs more markets to export its products to. A special reference needs to be made to China".

The meeting also served to highlight the recent Food Communication Award of Spain that the Ministry of Agriculture awarded INTEROVIC, an award that recognises the work of the Inter-professional grouping in the field of promotion and its different campaigns carried out both nationally and internationally.

The representatives of Interovic also wanted to voice some of the concerns of the sheep sector directly to Luis Planas: "we are in the midst of changes in the Common Agricultural Policy and the sector is not overcoming the crisis it is in, seriously affecting the survival of the sector in large areas of the rural environment, usually the most disadvantaged, such as the one you are visiting today".

INTEROVIC emphasized that: "A few months ago, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the current situation and future prospects of the sheep and goat sectors in the Union. In this, a thorough review of the sector was carried out, and a series of measures proposed which, if applied, would contribute to the regeneration of this livestock sub-sector”, INTEROVIC stressed.

Source Eurocarne Magazine