In an effort to further expand the awareness of U.S. pork and beef in the China/Hong Kong region, USMEF has initiated a U.S. Meat Traders Club. The goal of the club is to link Chinese traders with USMEF member companies and offer real time information about the U.S. red meat industry and markets through a new mobile social media platform.
China has been closed to U.S. beef for more than a decade, and although U.S. pork is allowed in to China, it faces increased competition from a wide range of suppliers. The mission of the U.S. Meat Traders Club is to bring U.S. and Chinese industry leaders together to remind buyers about the high quality, consistency and unmatched flavor of both U.S. pork and beef.
“We are very excited about the establishment of the U.S. Meat Traders Club and the kickoff event that recently took place in Shanghai,” said Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia-Pacific region. “The first meeting drew more than 300 elite traders and industry leaders to talk about the importance of U.S. red meat in the quickly expanding Chinese market.”
Meeting attendees were introduced to USMEF and its vertically integrated membership through a 3-D video. USMEF Economist Erin Borror provided a current overview of global red meat supply, demand and trade conditions. Haggard then introduced a new communications platform that utilizes WeChat, the world’s largest text messaging service based on number of subscribers. This online interactive networking tool will serve as the primary channel between participants in the U.S. Meat Traders Club.
“WeChat is already an important communications tool for Chinese traders,” said Haggard. “The WeChat platform will attract new traders to the group and allow them to follow industry news and USMEF China activities regarding U.S. red meat.”
USMEF member companies involved in the U.S. Meat Traders Club include JBS, Tyson, National Beef, Johnsonville, Smithfield and others from the packing and processing sector. The club will have a loosely organized leadership consisting of USMEF members in China and Hong Kong, which will select a new chairperson annually.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association, the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the Iowa Economic Development Authority are providing special support for the U.S. Meat Traders Club. A delegation representing Iowa’s agricultural industries attended the Meat Traders Club event.
“U.S. pork is seeing increased competition in China,” said Rich Degner, chief executive officer of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. “The U.S. Meat Traders Club is going to be a great way to link Chinese meat traders more closely to the U.S. meat industry and to USMEF. I anticipate that this group will become an important venue for enhancing U.S. pork trade with China.”
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