Latin American Product Showcase helps advance trade of U.S. beef, pork

Photo provided by U.S. Meat Export Federation

Exporters of U.S. beef, pork, and lamb are meeting with buyers from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean this week.

John Hinners, senior vice president of industry relations with the U.S. Meat Export Federation, says the Latin American Product Showcase helps advance trade in the region.

“It’s so important to put buyer and seller together. If we were to try to service Central America or South America and meet with all the buyers, it could take an entire year to go out and meet this many people and try to sell the product that we have,” he says. “So, by being able to get everybody together in one location, we can offer education seminars about US meat and why our product is different from others.”

Indiana Soybean Alliance is a sponsor of the showcase, and seven Hoosier farmers are in attendance.

Hinners tells Brownfield farmers are crucial in telling the story of U.S. meat products.

“Anytime you can put a face on U.S. agriculture, it’s so important. We’ve got a great story to tell, so when we can bring producers who are actually raising the corn or soybeans, raising the cattle, and raising the hogs and have them in front of an audience and talk about what they’re doing on the farm, you’re building trust,” he says. “When you build trust, certainly that’s another attribute that you have standing behind the products that we have in the showcase. You can go in and see U.S. beef and U.S. pork at 69 different stations in this arena with 450 people looking, pricing, and wanting to purchase product. But, if you have a producer there talking about how it was sustainably raised, it just adds that extra element, that stackable attribute that we have. It’s a trust that’s putting a face on the product. And I think anytime you can do that, there’s a step up on your competition. Those are the type of things that we try to do always trying to involve people in the merchandising of U.S. beef, pork, and lamb. We are a grassroots organization. Our red meat sales is our business and putting buyer and seller together is key for us and it’s key for American agriculture to stay strong.”

This is the 11th Latin American Product Showcase. After a few years off due to COVID and travel restrictions, the event is back. Hinners says 450 buyers and sellers are participating in this year’s showcase, including 69 USMEF exporting member companies.

Audio: John Hinners

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