“Even during this difficult time for the industry, producer support for expanding global demand for U.S. beef is steadfast, and that is very gratifying to see,” said U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Philip Seng. “Cattle producers also recognize that the United States is in a period of aggressive herd rebuilding, and this presents tremendous opportunities for industry growth. But we can only capitalize on these opportunities if we are equally aggressive about promoting our product and expanding our international customer base.”
Throughout the week, producers visited the USMEF trade show booth to receive information explaining the importance of beef exports to their bottom lines and how the Beef Checkoff Program supports market development activities in key international destinations.
The Checkoff Export Growth Committee met Friday afternoon to weigh industry priorities related to international marketing and discuss how these activities support the goals of the beef industry’s 2016-2020 long range plan. Seng addressed the committee on key market access issues, including animal traceability. He noted that while traceability was once viewed as a non-tariff trade barrier, that outlook has changed due to the number of competitors that are leveraging traceability systems to their advantage when promoting beef internationally.
Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president for marketing, and Greg Hanes, assistant vice president for international marketing and programs, presented the committee with updates on marketing activities and strategies in key markets, with particular focus on Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Halstrom also discussed recent efforts to bolster U.S. beef’s presence in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Also addressing the committee was John Masswohl, director of government and international relations for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. With U.S. beef producers hoping to regain access to the Chinese market in the near future, Masswohl shared his observations on the opportunities on which Canadian beef has capitalized in China, as well as the obstacles Canada still faces.
Just as important as feeding corn and its co-products to livestock is developing markets for Nebraska beef and pork overseas. After all, sending corn-fed beef and pork to international customers around the world has a larger economic impact than exporting raw corn and corn co-products.
This is why the Nebraska Corn Board became one of the first members of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) when USMEF was founded in 1979. Since then, the Board has invested several million dollars into USMEF market promotion activities and supported U.S. beef and pork trade missions around the world.