Low beef consumption in Taiwan but beef exporters are hopeful
Compared to the 28.8 kg of chicken and 43.5 kg of pork that a Taiwanese consumed in a year, beef consumption is a paltry 4.2 kg.
With per capita income of the Taiwanese around US$13,000, their consumption of beef certainly contradicts the belief that people will eat more red meat as they become richer.
Eyeing the market of 23 million people are four members of the Beef Alliance which was officially launched in Taipei in March 2003, namely the Meat and Livestock Australia, Meat New Zealand, the US Meat Export Federation and the Canada Beef Export Federation.
The alliance has launched an advertising campaign that is strictly generic advertising - promoting beef as a meat category - without mention of country of origin. The goal is to encourage Taiwanese to eat more beef and in turn increase the sales of each of the alliance's members.
About 90 per cent of Taiwan's demand for beef is met by imports, virtually all of which comes from the four alliance countries.
Last year, Taiwan imported 65.1 million tons of beef, with Australia supplying 33.2 million tons (51.4 per cent), New Zealand 14.7 million tons (22.7 per cent) United States 13.2 million tons (20.3 per cent) and Canada 3.6 million tons (5.6 per cent).