USMEF was able to reach both established and potential customers of U.S. red meat at the biennial Anuga food fair, held this month in Cologne, Germany. A dozen U.S. companies participated in an exhibit jointly sponsored by USMEF and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC). Funding support was provided by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), the Beef Checkoff Program and the Pork Checkoff.
Organizers of Anuga reported that the 2015 show attracted 160,000 visitors from 192 countries. For USMEF, the week-long event was an opportunity to promote U.S. beef, pork and lamb to the global marketplace – including the European Union, the host region.
“Representatives from all of the packing companies producing beef for the EU market were present, as were many of the exporting and trading companies that sell beef, pork and lamb across the globe,” said John Brook, USMEF regional director for the EU, Russia and the Middle East. “Overall, the U.S. companies were pleased with the contacts they were able to make and the meetings that were held during the week. Anuga continues to maintain its prestige as one of the world’s largest trade fairs.”
Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO, noted that USMEF has participated in Anuga for nearly four decades. This year’s show provided important insights into existing markets, as well as information about emerging markets that could prove valuable to the U.S. meat industry.
“Anuga is a place where new products are presented, new concepts are introduced and seminars are held that present a great deal of information,” said Seng, who was part of the USMEF team that met with importers and food companies at the show. “You see people from all over the world. They’re all showing what they produce and how they produce it, so it’s a very important venue to get a look at what is changing and what’s new in the world’s meat market.”
It’s also a place to take a look at the competition.
“The pork, beef and lamb industries from all of our competitors were there, and understanding what your competition is doing in each of the regions you work in is an important part of success in the international trade business,” said Seng.
Seng and Brook both offered that the Anuga show demonstrated continued great interest in U.S. beef and pork – even in markets where challenges exist.
“Despite the current high prices for high-quality, grain-finished U.S. beef for the EU market, potential buyers from a wide range of sectors wanted to discuss prospects with suppliers during the Anuga show,” said Brook. “Much of the discussion among the pork traders concerned the current economic challenges for EU producers and packers, and how this has resulted in intense competition in the global market.”
One of the major challenges the European industry is facing is closure of the Russian market, due to Russia’s food import embargo and an ongoing impasse over African swine fever. This resulted in a low turnout of Russian buyers at Anuga, where they usually have a strong presence.
Meanwhile, countries that make up the Greater Russia region were very much a focus for exporters, as were the Middle East, Africa and other emerging markets.
“You want to make contact with companies and traders in these markets that are growing and have potential for growth, and Anuga is a good place to do it,” explained Seng. “Competition for these markets is huge, so it’s important to make them aware of the advantages of U.S. red meat.”
Along with information on the U.S. red meat market, tasting samples were part of USMEF’s presentation at the exhibit, which was visited by buyers, foodservice executives and packing companies from around the world.
Among the U.S. dignitaries that visited the USMEF booth were Michael Scuse, USDA under secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services, and U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Emerson.
The next Anuga trade show will be held Oct. 7–11, 2017, in Cologne.
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