The old adage goes: “It’s a great big world out there.” When it comes to beef export markets, did you know the U.S. exports to more than 80 countries? And, did you know those efforts to promote your product overseas add value back to your operation? To put it into perspective, as of August 2018, value per head for fed slaughter was valued at $318.66, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
“For the sake of future generations, it is essential that we continue to look forward and never stop extolling the benefits of global trade,” said Dan Halstrom, President and CEO of USMEF, contractor to the beef checkoff. “USMEF is excited about the recent market access developments as U.S. beef exports continue to achieve tremendous growth – not only in our mainstay Asian markets but also in the Western Hemisphere.”
Foreign Marketing in Action: Cooking in China
USMEF recently conducted four consumer cooking classes in Shanghai in an effort to increase awareness of U.S. beef by engaging young professionals with an interest in home cooking. The classes combined education with social media activities to reach a wider audience across China’s most populous city. Each class featured a dietitian presenting the benefits and attributes of U.S. beef and sharing information about their nutritional aspects.
The Minnesota Beef Council recently hosted a group of journalists from Japan interested in learning more about the beef industry. Journalists who participated included a food blogger, a writer for a food and wine magazine, writers for both a men’s and a women’s magazine and a photographer. Plus, a USMEF representative of the Rancher’s Legacy and Big Steer Meats shared experiences in an effort to expose the visitors to the beef processing sector. The visit enabled the journalists to ask questions and take photos of exemplary industry representatives so they could write about the experiences when they return to Japan.
Heartland Team Tour
The USMEF Heartland Team recently returned from a six-day educational trip to Osaka and Tokyo, Japan, to share and learn about ways to expand beef markets in Asia. The team met with representatives and perhaps, more importantly, Japanese consumers to learn about the country’s tastes and preferences in the U.S. beef market.
“USMEF continues to work to show U.S. producers the export market potential in Japan and how we create demand for U.S. red meat and develop the Japanese market,” continued Halstrom. “Japan is our largest market, and despite some of the trade challenges we’ve faced, the numbers continue to look very good. We hope producers see what we have accomplished as an industry but also what we need to continue to develop to keep export trends going in this same positive direction.”
The Beef Checkoff program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.