Increasing the presence of U.S. pork in Australia and meeting traders across Oceania to get a better understanding of market trends, USMEF participated in Fine Food Australia, the region’s leading food trade show. Efforts to promote U.S. pork at the event, which took place in Sydney and attracted more than 23,000 buyers from restaurants, retailers, hotels and other sectors, were funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Pork Checkoff.
About 1,000 exhibitors hosted visitors from throughout Australia and more than 50 other countries. USMEF shared information on U.S. pork production, cutting specifications and menu ideas.
Last year USMEF participated in Foodservice Australia, a smaller and more specialized trade show, but not Fine Food Australia. USMEF ASEAN Director Sabrina Yin felt it was time to return to Fine Food Australia to capitalize on strong buyer interest in U.S. pork products.
“Our competition was definitely out in force at this year’s event, including suppliers from Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Thailand,” said Yin. “We have challenges and robust competition in Australia and in the entire region, but we also see many opportunities.”
U.S. pork is subject to significant restrictions in the region, with exports to Australia limited to cooked and processed pork products and boneless raw materials that must be shipped directly to an approved facility for further processing. No U.S. pork is allowed at the retail or foodservice levels in Australia.
Still, through September of this year, U.S. pork exports to Australia totaled 50,478 metric tons valued at $147.3 million, a 5 percent increase in volume and 11 percent in value over the same period in 2016. For all of 2016, the U.S. exported 63,412 metric tons of pork to Australia, valued at $177.7 million.