USMEF promoted U.S. beef and pork at World Food Azerbaijan 2015, one of the top food, beverage and agricultural shows in the Greater Russia region. Held in Baku, this year’s event was attended by more than 5,000 buyers. Funding support for USMEF’s participation was provided by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), the Beef Checkoff Program and the Pork Checkoff.
The booth highlighting U.S. beef and pork drew great interest from the hotel and restaurant industries, as many foodservice managers and chefs in Azerbaijan sought advice on how to connect with major importers and distributors of U.S. meat products.
Azerbaijan, a country of more than 8 million people, is located on the western shores of the Caspian Sea. It is a fast-growing country and among the best in the region for attracting investment, because of its easy access to regional markets, various free trade agreements with other countries in Greater Russia and its steady economic growth over the past decade.
“To many, Azerbaijan is an ideal example of a rehabilitated economy in transition,” explained Galina Kochubeeva, USMEF’s representative in Greater Russia.
Kochubeeva noted that, over the years, World Food Azerbaijan has established itself as a reliable venue for bringing food industry specialists together to demonstrate products, equipment and services.
“It is seen as a good event for finding new customers, strengthening old relationships and building new relationships in new markets,” she added.
Approximately 200 exhibitors from 33 countries participated in the 2015 show Because it was the “Year of Agriculture” in Azerbaijan, a wide variety of new products were highlighted, along with refrigeration systems, bakery equipment, and packaging equipment.
“From the discussions USMEF had during the show, there is certainly growing interest in the hospitality industry for U.S. meat,” said Kochubeeva. “The curiosity is not only focused on where food buyers can get U.S. beef and pork, but also the menu concepts restaurants, hotels and other foodservice providers can develop with these products once they have them.”
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