With support from the Beef Checkoff Program and the USDA Market Access Program, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff Program, promotes U.S. beef at the Gulfood trade show. Held annually in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E), Gulfood is the Middle East’s largest food trade show and one of the largest in the world. One of USMEF’s main goals at Gulfood is to help connect U.S. exporters with prospective buyers from the U.A.E. and other Gulf Cooperation Council (G.C.C.) countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Gulfood also attracts many food industry professionals from emerging markets in Africa.
Eric Smith, president of Utica, New York-based Smith Packing Company, has participated in Gulfood for many years and appreciates the assistance and support his company receives from USMEF. In the attached audio report, Smith shares his observations from the 24th edition of Gulfood, which was held Feb. 17-21.
More information on Gulfood is available online.
Joe Schuele: With support from the Beef Checkoff Program and the USDA Market Access Program, the U.S. Meat Export Federation, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, participates each year in the Gulfood trade show. Held annually in Dubai, Gulfood is the largest food show in the Gulf region and one of the largest in the world. In this USMEF report we caught up with Eric Smith, president of Smith Packing Company, at the 24th edition of Gulfood. Smith Packing is a USMEF member company that finds great value in the event:
Eric Smith: Smith Packing has been participating in Gulfood since the very first year it ran and what it has grown into is the largest trade event in the region all year long, and it attracts people from all the GCC countries and allows us really to focus in on the interest in U.S. beef that comes out of this region which has been strong over the years. We do see Gulfood as the place that is easy to get to from some places besides just the Middle East. There is interest in India, in Africa, and we do see customers from 42 countries.
Joe Schuele: With USMEF having a year-round presence in the Gulf region, Smith notes that partnering with USMEF helps his company make great business contacts at Gulfood:
Eric Smith: So if you’re in the wholesale food distribution business you can find business on many different layers of food service. We’re looking for wholesale distributors that will show interest in U.S. beef, and so we regard the U.S. Meat Export Federation as a key ally that helps us gain information from market resources to emotional support and really in working together with them to come to Gulfood — our experience working closer and closer with them has only given us the best resources we could have to make the most of our time here.
Joe Schuele: For more information, please visit USMEF.org. For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (www.USMEF.org) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations.