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Center of the Plate Training Encourages U.S. Beef Sales in Central America

USMEF partnered with Texas A&M University to host key importers, processors and distributors from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic for a Center of the Plate training session. The three-day event, designed to strengthen relationships between participants and the U.S. beef industry, was funded by the Beef Checkoff Program.

Cutting demonstrations of U.S. beef were part of the Center of the Plate training hosted by USMEF and Texas A&M University

Cutting demonstrations of U.S. beef were part of the Center of the Plate training hosted by USMEF and Texas A&M University

Another objective of the training was to give participants ideas to increase U.S. beef sales in their countries, said Gerardo Rodriguez, USMEF director of marketing for Central America and the Dominican Republic.

“Educational programs such as the Center of the Plate are considered the first stage of working with new partners in a region,” explained Rodriguez. “The program is designed to familiarize participants with a broader array of cut options. We also structure the training to reinforce the message that high-quality U.S. products are produced with a commitment to safety. And, of course, we highlight the business opportunities available when using U.S. beef and pork cuts.”

Cutting demonstrations featuring U.S. beef and veal were conducted and detailed information about each cut was offered to attendees, along with ideas for merchandising the cuts in their respective countries.

USMEF partnered with Texas A&M University to host key importers, processors and distributors from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic for a Center of the Plate training session. The three-day event was designed to strengthen relationships between participants and the U.S.beef industry.

Other sessions during the training focused on grading, labeling and frequently used names for various cuts. An explanation of alternative cuts was seen as a useful tool for participants looking for ways to increase profits for their businesses.

“The members of my team were mainly from the foodservice industry, so the exposure to new beef cuts, presented along with a profitability margin, proved very popular,” said Lucia Ruano, USMEF consultant in Central America. She noted that the diverse group was interested in many aspects of the training session, but one of the most important was learning how to successfully run a foodservice business utilizing red meat, which is growing in popularity in many developing areas.

Participants included importers, processors and distributors from Central America and the Dominican Republic

Participants included importers, processors and distributors from Central America and the Dominican Republic

USMEF partnered with Texas A&M University to host key importers, processors and distributors from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic for a Center of the Plate training session. The three-day event, designed to strengthen relationships between participants and the U.S. red meat industry, was funded by the Pork Checkoff and the Beef Checkoff Program.

The Central America team poses for a group photo during Center of the Plate training in College Station, Texas

The Central America team poses for a group photo during Center of the Plate training in College Station, Texas

“The team was happy with the activities included in the training and they will be working to develop some of the ideas and plans in their countries,” said Ruano. “The importers returned to Central America very impressed with their experience and were pleased that they had the opportunity to get answers to many questions about certain cuts that have great growth potential in their markets.”