U.S. Pork and Beef Promoted at Cambodia’s Largest Food ShowPublished: Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
U.S. pork and beef were showcased for HRI and retail managers at CAMFOOD 2016, Cambodia’s largest international hospitality and food exhibition, held in the capital city of Phnom Penh. With funding from the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Pork Checkoff, USMEF offered tasting samples and information about how U.S. red meat products can help boost the profitability of restaurants, supermarkets and other businesses.
CAMFOOD, which alternates between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, attracted 170 exhibitors separated into five country-specific pavilions: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and the United States. More than 10,000 hospitality and restaurant industry professionals from Cambodia and neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam attended the show. Along with VIP visitors invited by exhibitors, the event was also open to the public on the final day, with students from the food and hotel institutes and culinary schools in Cambodia among those who came to learn about the international food market.
Organized by the Cambodia Restaurant Association (CRA), CAMFOOD’s exhibits ranged from confectionaries, dairy products and frozen food products to coffees, beverages and meat products.
“The entire U.S. food industry is really taking an interest in Cambodia, as was evident by the number of organizations participating,” said Sabrina Yin, USMEF director in the ASEAN region. “In 2014, there were only four booths from the U.S., but this year there were 13.”
On the second day of the event, William A. Heidt, U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, stopped by the USMEF booth to sample U.S. pork and beef products. Among the offerings were U.S. pork loin chops and sausages, as well as U.S. beef brisket, striploin, short ribs, chuck eye roll, short plate, ribeye and top blade.
Yin said USMEF and partnering import-export companies were able to meet with many representatives from the region’s HRI industry to discuss U.S. pork and beef. She noted that the wave of students arriving on the final day of CAMFOOD was an added bonus.
“Many students from the culinary field took with them educational materials, so USMEF was able to reach out and educate a new generation of up-and-coming chefs and share with them the attributes of U.S. red meat,” said Yin. “We met several recently graduated chefs from the Singapore chef training program and reminded them how USMEF can assist them by introducing meat cuts suitable for their establishments and also acquaint them with local suppliers.”
As for the Cambodian market, Yin noted several opportunities but also some distinct challenges for both U.S. beef and pork. She noted that Australian live cattle started entering Cambodia in June and the beef products are widely distributed in the country’s supermarkets. Cambodia’s first modern slaughterhouse recently opened to process Australian beef with the tagline “Aussie Meat Locally Processed.”
Meanwhile, Cambodians generally approve of the quality of Cambodian domestic pork, Yin said, adding, “There are some good opportunities to introduce U.S. pork alternative cuts, items that deliver excellent value, to the Cambodian chefs who are always looking for ways to be more profitable.”