Achieving significant growth in pork consumption in some markets in Southeast Asia over recent years through its subsidiary, ESS-Food, Danish Crown has announced the latest moves in its strategy to gain greater connections with its present and future customer base interested in high-quality pork from Denmark.

With demand growth at 15 percent over the last year, and rapid development in frozen meat distribution, the Philippines has risen to become the fifth-largest market for European pork, according to the company. Danish Crown is set to expand its network of salespeople and agents by establishing its own sales offices in the Philippines, as well as Taiwan.

“As a region, Southeast Asia has always had an appetite for pork, so it’s only natural for us to boost our sales efforts,” said Lars Albertsen, SVP Export at Danish Crown. “We already have strong exports to the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan, but there is definitely potential for more, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we also end up opening our own office in Thailand at some point.”

For the time being, sales for the region generally and for the markets in Singapore and Thailand will be managed from the firm’s regional headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, but new offices will be set up within a few months in Manila and a location in Taiwan. An existing sales office in Singapore is scheduled for closure.

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Previously, ESS-Food and Danish Crown operated independently in in the region, but from now on, the sales forces will represent both companies.

“When our salespeople visit customers, pork from Danish Crown is naturally a major focus area,” said Morten Holm, CEO of ESS-Food. “But it’s equally important that they can offer customers the wide range of products and services that ESS-Food has on its shelves. In my opinion, this makes us a very attractive partner for our customers at all levels in Southeast Asia.”

With Chinese self-sufficiency in pig meat rising and a slowdown in pig meat imports by China on the horizon, Danish Crown recently reached agreement for future pork sales through business-to-consumer online marketplace, Alibaba Group.