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U.S. Beef’s Return to Malaysia Celebrated with Seminar, Reception

Published: Friday, May 13th, 2016

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USMEF partnered with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in a “Welcoming U.S. Beef Back to Malaysia” ceremony in Kuala Lumpur. Funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Beef Checkoff Program, it was the second activity organized by USMEF since U.S. beef re-entered Malaysia in December 2015. Prior to that date, the market was not technically closed, but no U.S. plants were eligible to export to Malaysia.

(l. to r.) James Stiegler, acting deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy, joins Jamie Friend of Iowa’s Thunder Ridge Beef and Joani Dong of FAS-Malaysia at the ceremony

(l. to r.) James Stiegler, acting deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy, joins Jamie Friend of Iowa’s Thunder Ridge Beef and Joani Dong of FAS-Malaysia at the ceremony

More than 70 people gathered at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur – including importers, processors, retailers and media representatives – to hear James Stiegler, acting deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy, deliver opening remarks. Also in attendance was a delegation organized by the Iowa Department of Economic Development, and USMEF used the opportunity to introduce them to some of Malaysia’s most active meat buyers and traders.

Sabrina Yin, USMEF ASEAN director, said the welcoming ceremony was a good way to cap off the long-awaited return of U.S. beef to Malaysia.

“We held a U.S. meat foodservice seminar in mid-March, a week prior to this event, to educate and update buyers about U.S. beef,” said Yin. “This was more of a way to thank our partners in the trade for their continuous support in getting U.S. beef back in the country. Malaysia’s imports of U.S. beef were growing before our plants lost eligibility in 2012. We hope to regain some of that momentum and expand U.S. beef’s presence.”

USMEF provided importers, retailers and other attendees with information and updates about U.S. beef

USMEF provided importers, retailers and other attendees with information and updates about U.S. beef

Dishes served at the “Welcoming U.S. Beef Back to Malaysia” reception included U.S. beef rillettes with kiwi, beet and orange gel; premium roast U.S. striploin and tenderloin accompanied with roasted root vegetables and shallot jus; open-faced mini beef burgers; and braised beef brisket in barbecue sauce.

U.S. beef cuts such as striploin and tenderloin were popular with attendees

U.S. beef cuts such as striploin and tenderloin were popular with attendees

The event attracted social media attention across the region, with the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia posting on its Facebook page, “U.S. ‪#‎halalbeef‬‬ is back in Malaysia!” “Look for halal U.S. beef on the menu in your favorite restaurants!” and “Look for U.S. beef in your favorite grocery stores and restaurants. And try it in your favorite beef rendang recipe!”