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Audio: U.S. Beef Showcased in Baltic Region

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Although U.S. beef is available in hotels, restaurants and retail outlets across much of the Baltic region, pricing and stiff competition make it a challenging market for U.S. exporters. To help meet these challenges, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) continues to showcase the quality of U.S. beef and demonstrate to importers new ideas for utilizing both premium and alternative cuts.

One example of USMEF’s work are U.S. beef master classes being conducted by Cheyenne McEndaffer, USMEF technical services manager, and Yuri Barutkin, USMEF representative in the region. The classes, held in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, are designed to engage importers and highlight the attributes that set U.S. beef apart from competitors’ products. The classes are funded by the Beef Checkoff Program.


TRANSCRIPT:

Ralph Loos: The U.S. Meat Export Federation is holding a series of U.S. beef master classes in the Baltic Region. Cheyenne McEndaffer, USMEF technical services manager, and Yuri Barutkin, USMEF representative in the region, are leading the classes in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. In this USMEF report, McEndaffer talks about the importance and purpose of leading the classes.

Cheyenne McEndaffer: The goals of beef master classes are to take cuts that are in the market and to talk about different muscle utilization, and breaking that down using various cuts, whether it’s for grilling or roasting or whatever. The Baltics are part of the European Union and any beef coming out of the U.S., because of the production protocol we have to follow, is more expensive. And we are more expensive in most cases that a lot of the domestic beef produced in Europe. Our importers in the European Union have to buy full sets from the U.S. because of the high cost of non-hormone treated beef that we send.

Ralph Loos: McEndaffer explained that highlighting quality attributes of U.S. beef is always important, but because of current pricing in the Baltics, demonstrating uses for various cuts is also valuable. Helping restaurants and retailers in the region get the most out of beef they import is an advantage in a market full of competition.

Cheyenne McEndaffer: We’re really looking for an outlet for the non-middle meats. So we’re looking for restaurants that may want to use these cuts, and so we have an outlet for middle meats at retail and then maybe we have an outlet for round and chuck cuts in other operations. The cuts we’re going to be focusing on during these Baltic seminars are chuck roll, shoulder clod and top sirloin butt. Competitors in Europe are not only domestic beef, but Uruguay, Australia and Brazil are starting to ship more. That’s our competition and we are unfortunately normally more expensive than them but that’s where we can talk about the attributes we bring to the table.

Ralph Loos: For more on this, please visit USMEF.org. For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Ralph Loos.