Spanish chorizo ​​leads the export of processed sausage to the European Union

Alejandro Alvarez-Canal Estrada, Managing Director of the Spanish Chorizo ​​Federation.

The value of Spanish chorizo ​​is on the rise, and increasingly so in Europe. according to him Spanish Chorizo ​​Consortium, an association of 20 companies in the meat sector, some of which have traditions going back 140 years, the country exported 79.6 million kilograms of processed sausage during 2022, of which about 70% corresponded to chorizo. It is a record number, representing an increase of 9% compared to the sector’s export figures collected in 2021.

Alejandro Alvarez-Estrada Canal, managing director of the consortium, confirmed in an interview with Cinco Días that the success is due to “the capacity of the exporting companies, which have been able to produce a product of high quality, evaluating the category of origin”. He added that Spanish salted sausage exports “increased by 10.7% during the first quarter of 2023 compared to the total number added in 2022,” and for the rest of the year it is expected, “at least even if the data is optimistic.”

Driven by chorizo, the Spanish meat sector has surpassed its record for the export of cured sausage for the tenth consecutive year since in 2012 it sent 38.5 million kilograms abroad. France and the United Kingdom remained the most loyal buyers during this period, while Belgium, to the detriment of Germany, established itself as the third strongest market in Europe, after its demand increased by 90 percent over the past year, given its “re-export nature”.

The continued growth of the sector has pushed the turnover of processed sausage exports to 548 million euros in 2022, much higher than the 480 million recorded in the previous year, or the 226 million collected in 2012. Spain has already established itself as the fourth country in Europe and the sixth in the world that exports the largest volume of processed sausage, with presence in 112 countries.

Ironically, the prices the state charges for hot dogs have also gone up in recent years. In 2021 the average price of Spanish sausages exported abroad was around 6.50 euros per kilogram and in 2022 it was already 6.88. Data from the consortium show that during the first quarter of 2023 the average price rose to €7.29 per kilo of cured sausage, with an average peak of €8.12 in Denmark, and a tendency to continue growing, which, according to Alvarez-Canal-Estrada, “doesn’t help”.

Deloitte and the challenges of the sector

Consulting firm Deloitte has just prepared the report from Monitor Deloitte The future of food: animal protein, challenges and opportunities for the Spanish meat sector, Analyzes the importance of the national industry and its challenges. Peter Rodrigothe partner in charge of the initiative The future of food From Deloitte, states that “the Spanish meat sector, a reference product in Europe, must transform to promote an export model and future innovation in the face of the challenges it faces, such as increased regulatory requirements, high level of competitiveness or low consumption at the national level”.

Deloitte proposes seven levers to guide the sector’s transformation, focusing on reputation, value chain structure (fostering vertical integration), investment and innovation, and greater presence in value markets abroad (less dependence on China).

Also, among them is the promotion of the circular economy through the use of by-products and waste from the production process. In the same way, Monitor Deloitte considers it necessary to establish itself as a benchmark in biosafety by strengthening safeguards and strengthening localization agreements with key destination markets.

The advisory confirms that the consumption of animal proteins will continue to grow in the coming years, albeit at a slower rate than that we have seen so far, mainly due to the increase in demand in Asia, Latin America and Africa, in contrast to the expected stagnation in Europe.

In such circumstances, “developing innovation and R&D to develop products and solutions that adapt to today’s and tomorrow’s consumer” becomes appropriate, according to Miguel Sabater, senior manager at Monitor Deloitte and co-responsible for the aforementioned initiative. The future of food.

Gradual focus

On the other hand, the national meat sector is going through a process of concentration. Spain went from 4,416 meat-producing companies in 2008 to 3,554 registered companies in 2021. The union between the companies, as well as the absorption of some of the big companies, led to a financial injection that, as a result, led to an increase in the number of exporting companies from 482 in 2018 to 560 in 2022.

Likewise, the meat industry maintains the leadership of the Spanish agro-food sector, reaching 34,000 million euros in 2022, with a composition in which the pork sector predominates, which accounts for 63% of turnover. Thus, the future is promising, but not without challenges that the sector must take into account.

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