U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy toured the USA Pavilion on the opening day of the Foodex Japan 2014 trade show, stopping by the USMEF booth to admire a thick cut U.S. T-bone steak, an item USMEF is promoting at the show.
Traffic to the USMEF booth was heavy as soon as the show opened and grew throughout the day, attracted by the USMEF theme, which translates as “American Meat, especially delicious.” Despite some concern about higher U.S. prices due to lower supplies, buyers were in a positive mood and looking for ways to increase their purchases of U.S. meat. USMEF members Agri Beef, Fresh Mark, Daniele Foods, SIG International, Macsei Industries and Triple J Farms exhibited a wide variety of U.S. beef and pork items and handed out samples prepared in a variety of ways so key buyers could experience their versatility and taste.
Foodex is the most important trade show in Japan, expecting 75,000 trade visitors over its four-day run. Last year’s show drew 2,544 exhibitors from 66 countries.
Since Feb. 1, 2013, the United States can export beef from animals under 30 months of age to Japan for the first time since 2003. USMEF stressed the availability of variety meat at Foodex as well as Choice and Prime cuts and displayed dry-aged beef, a current trend in Japan.
“Buyer interest was extremely high at the USMEF booth,” said USMEF Vice Chair Roel Andriessen, senior vice president of Tyson, responsible for the International Sales Group of Tyson Fresh Meats. “The displays and information painted a very positive image of the quality, taste and value of U.S. beef and pork.”
Japanese and regional buyers sampled six different U.S. chilled pork cuts and precut and marinated processed, value-added items.
Competitor countries such as Canada and Mexico also staffed elaborate booths to promote their products in one of the most competitive — and high margin — markets in the world.
“The commitment of our competitors in this market is evident in the efforts they have placed in their booths at this trade show,” said Andriessen. “They understand the value of the Japanese market and are investing heavily to try to capture more market share from the U.S.”
Foodex continues through Friday.
USMEF Headquarters 1855 Blake Street, Suite 200 Denver, CO 80202
Tel: 303-623-MEAT (6328) Fax: 303-623-0297 Email: email@example.com
© 1996-2014 U.S. Meat Export Federation. All rights reserved.