Argentina’s beef bosses are targeting the UK with a £2m promotional drive.
The campaign will focus on quality, but also on the way Argentina produces its beef in a bid to dispel myths that South American farmers treat animals and the environment badly.
It will emphasise the huge pastures that cattle are free to roam on, their grass-based diet and the fact that because Argentina has so much natural pasture, it is not necessary to cut down rainforest.
Modern hygiene and traceability systems will also be used as selling points, as will the fact that Argentine farmers produce beef from British breeds, such as Aberdeen Angus. A mark has been
developed, which marketing executives hope will be used on packs of Argentine steak cuts in supermarkets.
The drive will take in trade shows and will involve a consumer and trade PR and advertising campaign set to begin within the next couple of months. It is hoped importers of Argentine beef may also wish to contribute funds.
Arturo Llavallol, president of the Argentine Beef Promotion Institute, said a study into the UK beef market had shown there was potential to dramatically increase sales of fresh Argentine steak cuts. “It demonstrated that trade and consumer awareness of Argentine beef is relatively low, but where awareness does exist it is focused on the quality of our national product.”
Last year Britons ate 20,000 tonnes of Argentine beef, though only 20% went into retail, including some sold at Tesco. Llavallol said he expected imports to grow 20% on the back of the campaign, with increased volumes in the multiples.
Retailers had been contacting the Argentine embassy lately to enquire about availability of beef, and representatives of the Argentine Beef Promotion Institute had met with buyers at IFE, he said.
Richard Clarke