USMEF plans beef marketing events in China

The first shipment of U.S. beef to China left Greater Omaha Packing Company in mid-June. From left to right, Greater Omaha Packing president Henry Davis, Nebraska ag director Greg Ibach and Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is gearing up for its first major marketing events for U.S. beef in China.

In late September, USMEF will conduct the “U.S. Beef Roadshow”—beef-focused trade shows—in each of China’s three largest cities to bring Chinese buyers and U.S. exporters together.

Joel Haggard, senior vice president for USMEF in the Asia Pacific region, says while the volumes of U.S. beef entering China are still small, he sees positive momentum.

“The early shipments of prime beef were warmly received,” Haggard says. “Although the prices were high, the quality was excellent. In terms of providing that initial impression of quality, I think we’ve achieved that.”

Haggard says the first sea shipments of U.S. beef only recently arrived in the market and most Chinese buyers have had very little direct exposure to the product.

“The Roadshows are designed to show off the product and hopefully bring greater awareness to the importers,” he says, “and although this process is probably going to play out over several years, we remain extremely optimistic about the long-run.”

Haggard is expecting three to four hundred buyers at each Roadshow event with about 20 U.S. companies participating.

USMEF is conducting the events in cooperation with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service with funding support from the Nebraska Beef Council.

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