Represented by Agrosuper, Coexca, Maxagro, and AASA, the Chilean pork industry strengthened its presence and promoted the quality of its products in the key markets South Korea, Japan, and China. Back in Chile, they share their experiences and thoughts, highlighting the country’s achievements and commitment as a pork supplier in Asia.

Last May, ChilePork, the brand developed by the pork industry and ProChile (the Chilean Exports Promotion Bureau) to showcase Chilean pork abroad, made its customary yearly tour of key Asian markets, where it’s strong presence makes pork Chile’s most exported meat product. A month later, we talked with representatives from these companies to ask them about the trip’s highlights.

“For AASA, it was our first visit to Asia after the pandemic. We hadn’t been there since September 2019, and that’s why our main goal was to reconnect with our clients/importers in person. The response from Asian importers and officials was great, both in South Korea and Japan, where all the invited guests attended the events. After being used to having these events every year, the absence weighed heavily on importers, and they wanted to show up. Similarly, in all three destinations the Chilean ambassadors and attachés were deeply involved, always ready to support ChilePork’s efforts,” says Alejandro Muñoz, Commercial Manager of AASA.

In Agrosuper’s opinion, this year it is particularly important to be in Asia, where ProChile and other industries are also promoting our country brand. “In our case, as pork producers and exporters, we need to be present in our main destination markets, such as Japan, South Korea, and China, to build the foundations for promoting Chile’s benefits as food-producing country,” said John Lüer, International Sales Manager of Agrosuper.

Francisco Echeverría, Export Manager of Coexca, highlighted the strategic opportunity represented by the tour to strengthen commercial relations with traditional clients in Asia and explore room for new business. “The main goal was introducing our pork offer and reinforcing Coexca’s image as a reliable and high-quality provider in Asia. The tour gave us the opportunity to attend business meetings, visit major companies in the sector, and learn about the current trends and demands of the Asian market. In addition to the commercial aspect, we also found it beneficial to share knowledge and experiences with other industry actors during the tour,” he added.

The industry has been working for years, through this and other initiatives, to strengthen commercial ties with importers and promote the Chilean pork industry in South Korea, Japan, and China. “We believe it is very important to maintain smooth and close communication with our clients. We have commercial offices in both Japan and China with local teams, which help us better understand our clients needs and respond accordingly,” said Jorge Rozas, Maxagro’s Commercial Manager after the company’s participation on this trip.

Initiatives such as the ChilePork tours are key to strengthen ties, as Agrosuper points out. In the words of John Lüer, these activities also showcase the ongoing efforts of the industry to connect with the interests of international markets. Lüer added that “we have focused on meeting the needs of different countries by producing specific cuts for food service, retail, and the traditional channel. Unlike before, the current campaign has focused on further strengthening our relationship with chefs and end consumers.”

When assessing the activities in each country and the achievement of the goal of promoting and strengthening Chilean pork’s penetration, the companies were quite satisfied. “We achieved the goal of reconnecting with importers and having Chilean authorities there shows that we are united as a country and supported by the public sector, which reinforces the image of Chilean pork,” said AASA’s commercial manager.

“These visits helped us strengthen the relationship with our trading partners, learn about their operations and understand their needs and expectations on site. We also developed effective communication tools to promote our company and clearly convey Coexca’s attributes and advantages, as well as the quality and sustainability standards that set us apart. We also had working meetings with importers and other key industry actors in South Korea, Japan, and China to discuss relevant topics such as market trends, regulatory requirements, and collaboration opportunities. We created a space to exchange knowledge, experiences, and explore potential collaborations,” Coexca added.

Thinking about ChilePork’s next steps in the Asian market to further strengthen its presence and international potential, the companies emphasized the need of keeping the focus on the quality of their products. Alejandro Muñoz, from AASA, commented: “We want to keep the emphasis on quality. We are the smallest of the four companies, which is why we must focus on delivering the best quality. We want to stand out for that, and also be able to offer products with higher added value. To be more than just a commodity.”

“Our first step will be consolidating the business deals made on the tour. Then, our plans will focus on strengthening ties, and positioning our company and the industry, while continuing to deliver the best quality products and strengthening our presence in international markets,” added Francisco Echeverría from Coexca. In turn, Jorge Rozas from Maxagro emphasized: “We strongly believe in long-term relationships. That is why, regardless of market fluctuations, we always maintain our presence and communication with the many places where we have a presence. Additionally, we have been working on diversifying our sales to new countries for some years now, doubling our markets in 5 years, a task which we will continue to work on.”

ChilePork’s successful tour of South Korea, Japan, and China helped the Chilean pork industry strengthen its presence and promote the quality of its products in key markets. The companies underlined Chile’s commitment as a reliable pork supplier in the region. That is why the industry focus remains on quality, seeking to set itself apart and offer products with higher added value. Future actions will focus on consolidating business deals, strengthening ties, and continuing to deliver the best quality products to further strengthen its presence and international potential in Asian markets and beyond.