Event Marks Return of U.S. Bone-in Beef to ThailandPublished: Thursday, February 15th, 2018
Marking the return of U.S. bone-in beef to Thailand after a 14-year absence, USMEF partnered with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Bangkok to host a reception and dinner that encouraged local meat importers to meet with potential end users and explore the process of importing an expanded range of U.S. beef cuts. The event was funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Beef Checkoff Program.
More than 200 people attended the “U.S. Bone-in Beef is Back” gathering at the residence of U.S. Ambassador Glyn Davies, who spoke to guests about the importance of allowing bone-in U.S. beef back into Thailand and his overall commitment to the U.S. beef industry. Davies thanked USMEF and other parties involved, including the Thai government.
Russ Nicely, agriculture counsellor for FAS in Bangkok, opened with remarks on the growth potential for U.S. bone-in beef in Thailand’s restaurants and other foodservice establishments.
“The trade contacts present were carefully selected – executive chefs, foodservice managers, steakhouse and restaurants owners, retailers, caterers, meat importers and media representatives,” explained Sabrina Yin, USMEF director in the ASEAN region. “The wait has been long for U.S. bone-in beef to be reintroduced to Thailand, so we wanted the guest list to include the people who have the most potential to do business. It was a win-win for everyone and for U.S. beef.”
Yin pointed out that although Thailand is not a big market and has a relatively high import duty of 50 percent, USMEF will continue to work to increase demand for U.S. beef.
A dinner was prepared with three U.S. bone-in beef cuts: short ribs, tomahawk and oven-prepared ribs, following a U.S. beef steak grilling session for selected local media representatives.
“Local TV stations and social media bloggers were invited to this earlier session to let them have ample time to ask questions and take photos with the ambassador,” said Yin. “The highlight of the evening was the ambassador ceremonially carving the U.S. beef tomahawk steak, followed by group photos with meat importers who already import U.S. bone-in beef.”
A handful of U.S. beef importers in Thailand used the opportunity to display their range of bone-in beef items, looking at it as an effective way to reach out to the target end users. U.S. beef brands on display were:
- Jagota Brothers Trading – Caviness Beef and Snake River Farm
- Gourmet One – Swift Brand
- Siam Food Services – Greater Omaha Packing
- Tohkaiya Company – MacDonald Meat Company
- Udom Supply – National Beef Company