During May, your CBB Chairman, Joan Ruskamp, and I traveled to Beijing, China and Tokyo, Japan with a group of 10 beef producers, feeders, and state beef council executives.
Meat Export Federation (USMEF) led a group of members representing the states of Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska and Texas.
The Beef Checkoff program is fortunate to have dedicated and professional contractors working on our behalf, and USMEF is certainly no exception.
The importance of exports to the U.S.
beef industry cannot be overstated.
Being in those countries to witness the excitement and desire for our beef, firsthand, was very gratifying.
We met with many beef importers, retailers, and chefs in both countries and the message was very consistent – they love U.S.
Large populations in both countries, coupled with a growing middle class, creates strong demand for high-quality beef; however, there is much work to be done.
Sharing the many ways U.S.
beef can be used in foodservice and restaurant trade in an effective and profitable way with new U.S.
beef enthusiasts is no small task.
Fortunately, the USMEF team works hard, on behalf of the beef checkoff, to bring influencers together, educating them on the many opportunities.
It was interesting to find few people in these countries have grills or ovens in their homes! Consequently, in Tokyo, there is a huge expansion of “grilling locations” where they bring beef to grill outdoors, like we
do in the U.S.
These locations, many on rooftops, are great for social interaction and sharing the grilling experience.
With their desire for the taste and quality of U.S.
beef, opportunities abound for the U.S.
beef producers and exporters!