Audio: ‘U.S. Beef Roadshow’ Ready for Launch in China
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is preparing for its first major marketing events for U.S. beef in China, which recently reopened to U.S. beef after a 13-year absence from the market. Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, explains that although China officially opened to U.S. beef in June, the first sea shipments only recently arrived in the market and most Chinese buyers have had very little direct exposure to the product. To bring qualified Chinese buyers and U.S. exporters together, USMEF is conducting a trade show in each of China’s three largest cities. These events are set for Sept. 25 in Beijing, Sept. 27 in Shanghai and Sept. 29 in Guangzhou. Haggard is expecting 300 to 400 buyers at each event, with about 20 U.S. companies participating. Deemed the “U.S. Beef Roadshow,” USMEF is conducting this series of events in cooperation with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service with funding support from the Nebraska Beef Council.
Joe Schuele: The U.S. Meat Export Federation is gearing up for its first major marketing events for U.S. beef in China. Senior Vice President for the Asia Pacific Joe Haggard has more details in this USMEF report.
Joel Haggard: It’s still very early in the development of U.S. beef in China. We’re just at the stage now where some sea shipments are starting to arrive and clear. The volumes are still small but we see some positive momentum. The quality of the product has been very good. Some of the early air-chilled shipments of prime beef were warmly received, although the prices were high, the quality was excellent. So in terms of providing that initial first impression of quality, I think we’ve achieved that.
Joe Schuele: A series of trade shows is planned for USMEF members in each of China’s three largest cities.
Joel Haggard: Many of our exporters have received dozens if not hundreds of emails from interested Chinese parties, many without much knowledge of our industry or the product itself. We wanted to stage an event for all of our exporters to meet the qualified Chinese importers. We put together our own trade show, and we’re calling these the U.S. Beef Road Shows. They are going to take place Sept. 25 in Beijing, Sept. 27 in Shanghai and Sept. 29 in Guangzhou. We’re cooperating with USDA’s agriculture trade offices to bring in qualified buyers from all of China – not only those cities but all of the regions. We expect 300 to 400 buyers at each event. We have 20 members signed up. And there’s still very little exposure among not only consumer but also the trade, in terms of U.S. beef, so these road shows are designed to show off the product and hopefully bring a greater awareness to the importers. And although this process is probably going to play out over several years, we remain extremely optimistic about the long run.
Joe Schuele: For more information, please visit USMEF.org. For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.