Plateforme des exportateurs (ExPla)
The European Platform of Exporters of Bovine Genetics (ExPla) is a coordinating body that represents breeding organisations and companies from 11 countries that account for roughly 85 % (in volume) and 95 % (in value), respectively, of the EU exports of bovine semen as well as for around 80 % of EU trade in pure-bred breeding animals to Third countries.
ExPla exchanges notably with the EU Commission in the field of export of bovine semen and embryos as well as live breeding animals to Third Countries. Of particular importance are the veterinary certificates, which are a prerequisite for trade. Apart from that, the Platform deals with general trade questions. It is represented in the SPS Market Access Working Group of DG TRADE.
The activities of ExPla trace back to an initiative of professional organisations of the Netherlands, Germany, France and Austria who started back in the 1990’s to discuss the legislative framework for exports of live bovine breeding animals. The Platform has been developed further and since 2007 there are two working groups: The first deals with semen and embryos (S&E) and the second with live animals (LA).
The ExPla members stand up for quality assurance in trade and for the removal of unjustified trade restrictions.
The following organisations are members of the Platform:
Germany: German Animal Breeders‘ Federation (ADT), Groups S&E and LA
German Cattle Breeders‘ Federation (ADR), Groups S&E and LA
France: Allice, Group S&E
Races de France, Group LA
Austria: genetic AUSTRIA GmbH, Group S&E
Rinderzucht Austria (ZAR), Group LA
Netherlands: CRV (for the Holstein breed represented in CZ, too), Group S&E
Veepro Holland, Group LA
Denmark, Sweden, Finland: Viking Genetics, Group S&E
United Kingdom: Export Certification Ltd, Group S&E
Spain: Ascol, Group S&E
Italy: Inseme, Group S&E
Belgique: Association Wallone de l'Elevage (AWE)
The chairman of the Platform is currently Hans-Peter Schons (ADT, Germany). The secretariat is housed at the ADT office in Brussels (Rue du Luxembourg 47-51, 1050 Brussels).
EU is net exporter of bovine semen and live breeding animals
normal years, the 28 EU Member States are exporting between 10 and 12 mln doses of bovine semen to Third countries. However, due to the trade restrictions, that many trade partners imposed after the detection of Schmallenberg virus, the exports dropped to barely 8,9 mln doses in 2012. Even if they reached 9,7 mln in in 2014, the potentials of the market could still not be used. The export value increased from 28,3 mln to 29,8 mln EUR from 2012 to 2014, but in 2011 more than 32 mln EUR was recorded. Most important destinations were Turkey, the United States of America, Brazil, vietnam, Tunisia, Canada and Switzerland. Back in 2009 the share of third country exports was almost 60 %, but over the last two years it stabilised at between 41 and 43 % (out of a total trade volume of ca. 22 mln doses, including intra-EU trade).
In terms of volume, the imports from Third countries have been growing steadily in recent years, notably those from the USA. In calendar year 2014 approximately 9,7 mln doses valued at almost 57 mln EUR have been imported. Thus the EU lost its position as
net exporter of bovine semen. In terms of value, the EU has for a long time already been a net importer (due to the import of relatively high priced semen from North America).
As for the pure-bred breeding animals, the official statistics (Eurostat) show that the export value dropped from almost 590 mln EUR in 2011 (heifers, cows and other breeding animals) to 515 mln EUR in 2014, when the 28 EU Member States sold slightly more than 320.000 animals, thereof 120.000 to Third countries (some 96 % of the total are heifers). The EU remains a very big net exporter to Third countries of live bovine breeding animals, for breeding heifers alone the export surplus amounts to 240 mln EUR (2014).