Calves

Background

China opens for Dutch veal

The Chinese market will open up to veal from the Netherlands, worth an annual turnover of € 15 million.

This has been promised during the trade mission of the Netherlands to China in April this year. During this visit Dutch Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality together with Prime Minister Mark Rutte talked with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Beijing and agreed to sign an agreement before this summer to allow export of Dutch veal to China.

Other countries that lifted the ban for Dutch veal are:

  • 2013: Japan
  • 2016: US
  • 2017: Taiwan

The agreement between the Dutch and the Chinese entails an annual turnover of € 15 million. “The export of veal to China is good news for the Dutch farmer. Many people have been working hard for this for a long time, so I am very happy that we can close the trade mission with this great promise,” said Minister Schouten. China introduced the ban in the late 90s as a result of the BSE outbreaks in Europe. However, BSE has been under control for years now.

China introduced the ban in the late 90s as a result of the BSE outbreaks in Europe. However, BSE has been under control for years now. Photo: Henk Riswick
China introduced the ban in the late 90s as a result of the BSE outbreaks in Europe. However, BSE has been under control for years now. Photo: Henk Riswick

Hennie Swinkels, director of corporate communications at VanDrie in the Netherlands, is very pleased with the result achieved and praises the efforts of the Dutch government. “This is a big step forward,” he says. “We have been working 18 years for this.” However, work still needs to be done before the first container with veal can be sent to China, he says. First a protocol must be signed, but that has been promised. This can easily take 4 to 8 weeks. This is followed by an inspection of the Dutch calf slaughterhouses. Lastly, the agreements about the export must be specified. All in all, it may still take until the end of 2018 before the first Chinese can enjoy Dutch veal.

Around 92% of Dutch veal, worth € 2 billion, is exported. Main destinations are Italy, followed by Germany and France.

Mariska Vermaas

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