European dairy products confirm their popularity in the Middle Eastern market. In the last decade, the total European export value of dairy grew with 71% towards the Middle East. Dairy specialties from Belgium, in the heart of Europe, were able to ride on this rising European trend. In order to increase the local awareness of Belgian dairy products, VLAM, Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board, is continuing its campaign: ‘White Gold, straight from the heart of Europe’.
Seven Belgian dairy companies are present at the VLAM booth in Hall 1, E1-2 – F1-1: Agral, Belourthe, INEX, Kaasbrik, Milcobel, Olympia and Solarec. Together, they offer a wide range of dairy specialties: f.i. milk powder, milk, butter, processed cheese and cream. Meet the representatives and discover the personal service and flexibility of the family run companies.
Healthy growth for European dairy products in the Middle East
The Middle-eastern region is purchasing more and more European dairy products. In 2017, this region bought more than 815,000 tonnes of dairy products in Europe to the value of more than 2.5 billion Euro. In 2008, the European dairy export to the Middle East only represented 504,000 tons with a total value of 1.5 billion euros.
Source: Eurostat + calculations VLAM
With a value share of 24,2%, processed dairy products make up the lion’s share of European dairy export to the Middle East. Cheese takes the second place with 16,4% and skimmed milk powder follows on the third place with a share of 12,9%.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest import market for European dairy, with a volume share of 24,8%. The United Arab Emirates are a strongly rising export destination, taking a share of 18% in 2017, with an important part for re-export, and Egypt follows with 10%.
In addition to these main destinations, it is worth mentioning the strong performance of European dairy products on other markets in this region, especially Lebanon, Pakistan and Qatar.
Middle East asking for more Belgian dairy products
In recent years, Belgian products are becoming more popular within the European export to this region. Especially in Jordan and Yemen, Belgian presence is more visible in the export figures. In 2017, the total Belgian dairy export towards the Middle East reached 132 million euro. In 2008, this was only 92,5 million euro. In 2018, the export grows even further: mainly skimmed milk powder leaves Belgium towards this region, representing a 30,3% value share in 2017. Dairy preparations hold second place with a 17,9% share, followed by whole milk powder with 15%.
Campaign for Belgian dairy products
‘White Gold. Straight from the heart of Europe’. The campaign on Belgian dairy products is built around this slogan. A striking image of a glass of milk scintillating gold is being displayed on the fair stands, in advertisements and on the website www.whitegoldfromeurope.eu. VLAM, Flanders’ Agricultural and Fisheries Marketing Board, and APAQ-W, the Walloon promotion organisation, worked out this campaign together to promote Belgian dairy products beyond Europe.
White Gold refers to the premium milk to be found in Belgium and which is the basis for a very broad assortment of dairy products. Belgian dairy is renowned for its high-quality standards by imposing rigorous controls throughout production and transport. The dairy specialties are visualized as ‘white gold’, symbolizing quality, sustainability and traceable authenticity. Belgium is not a dairy specialist by coincidence: laying in the heart of Europe, the country is very suitable for dairy farmers thanks to the mild sea climate and fertile soil.