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Seminars in Colombia, Peru Highlight U.S. Pork for Further Processing

Published: Friday, May 13th, 2016

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In an effort to build relationships with small and medium-sized processors – and to strengthen communication with larger companies in South America that use U.S. pork raw materials – USMEF conducted pork processing seminars in Peru and Colombia. Funding for the seminars, which were held in Lima, Peru and Medellin, Colombia, was provided by the Pork Checkoff.

Dr. Wes Osburn of Texas A&M University, provides processors in Medellin, Colombia with information about U.S. pork raw materials

Dr. Wes Osburn of Texas A&M University, provides processors in Medellin, Colombia with information about U.S. pork raw materials

“The goal was to demonstrate how high-quality raw material can impact not only characteristics and quality of the final product, but also improve the yield and increase revenues for processing companies,” explained Jessica Julca, USMEF representative in South America.

At least 60 percent of the U.S. pork imported into Colombia and Peru goes to further processing, Julca noted. “Only the large companies and a small number of mid-sized companies are importers – the rest source product domestically and from local importers or distribution companies,” she said.

Cuts of pork for further processing are examined by participants in the USMEF seminar in Medellin

Cuts of pork for further processing are examined by participants in the USMEF seminar in Medellin

Combined, about 60 people representing 32 companies attended the two seminars. The main presenter was Dr. Wes Osburn, associate professor of meat science at Texas A&M University. His primary topics were understanding the three major functional properties of raw materials, identifying factors that impact raw material properties, U.S. ham manufacturing procedures and principles and meat product evaluation and troubleshooting.

“In talking to participants after the seminars, it was clear that the information we provided was very valuable,” said Julca. “We received requests for additional seminars covering topics such as meat packaging, labeling and merchandising. The processors also greatly appreciated the expertise and input of Dr. Osburn.”

Participants were also provided with printed materials explaining the attributes of U.S. pork, and each seminar included an overview of the U.S pork industry and the Pork Quality Assurance Program.