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Spain - Spanish company finds beefy market in the Middle East

EU trade agreements with countries such as Lebanon open new business markets for European beef producers.

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Cecinas Nieto is a Spanish family business specialised in gourmet meat products. The award winning company, founded in 1965, exports its products to many countries around the world with a recent focus on the Middle East.

European beef producers see potential in countries where Islam is the predominant religion because the absence of pork products creates an increase in demand of beef. Lebanon is a country which imports a high proportion of its beef. Thanks to the EU-Lebanon trade agreement, European companies such as Cecinas Nieto can now export their halal meet products there without restriction. The agreement also includes a progressive elimination of trade tariffs, which will disappear completely by 2018. This enables European beef exporters to keep pace with stiff competition from the likes of India and Brazil.

Lebanon is not the only country where Cecinas Nieto has experienced growth. The company exported some 6.5 tonnes of their products in 2015. Such strong international business has enabled Cecinas Nieto to maintain employment levels and boost economic activity in the region.

Indeed, European food and agricultural products as a whole are in very high demand around the world. In 2014 they made up 7% of total exports from the EU.

Find out more about the EU's trade relations with Lebanon