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Working to find the next big export market for US beef

The head of the US Meat Export Federation says Africa could be the next big export market for US beef.

Dan Halstrom, president and CEO, says Africa is one of the youngest demographics in the world.  “It has a very fast growth rate and you’re starting to see rising incomes,” he says.  “Granted there are a lot of haves and have-nots, there’s not a big middle class.  But there is a middle class and it is starting to grow.”

Halstrom says the potential for market growth in Africa is reminiscent of Mexico in the 1980’s.  “These are how markets get started,” he says.  “Variety meats and cuts that are price orientated.  But there are several examples of restaurants that are very high-end bringing in by air, US muscle cuts.  And that’s how the business starts.”

Halstrom says Mexico went from primarily purchasing beef variety meats to becoming a reliable market for all US beef and beef products.

He tells Brownfield technology will expedite the development of new markets and it’s also changing how they promote US beef.  “You’re close to an average age in the low-20s in a place like Nigeria and South Africa,” he says.  “When they get a little older, they’re going to be prime spending age, that 25- to 35-year-old range.  This is an opportunity to tell our story and really build our demand for the future.”

AUDIO: Dan Halstrom, US Meat Export Federation

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