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USMEF Activities in Cambodia Include CAMFOOD, Foodservice Seminar

With a population of nearly 15 million and an economy that is expanding at an impressive pace, Cambodia presents growing opportunities for U.S. meat exports.
Chefs and restaurateurs enjoy a USMEF cutting and cooking demonstration in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Chefs and restaurateurs enjoy a USMEF cutting and cooking demonstration in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

USMEF recently participated in CAMFOOD 2012, the second edition of Cambodia’s largest food and beverage trade show. The three-day event, held in the capital city of Phnom Penh, attracted about 8,000 food industry professionals, including many from neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. Also in attendance were students from Cambodia’s food and hotel institutes and culinary schools, who are an important audience for USMEF in terms of outreach to Cambodia’s growing tourism and hospitality industries. USMEF’s participation was supported by the Pork Checkoff, the Beef Checkoff Program and the USDA Market Access Program (MAP).

U.S. pork products on display included bacon, pepperoni and a wide variety of sausages and bratwursts. Beef items included striploin, tenderloin and short ribs.

“Cambodia still has serious economic challenges and remains one of the ASEAN region’s poorest countries,” said Sabrina Yin, USMEF ASEAN director. “But with growing oil and gas exploration and continued growth in several industrial sectors, the country is making significant progress. CAMFOOD provided us with an opportunity to gauge the level of interest in U.S. beef and pork products, and it is quite significant.”

Prior to the CAMFOOD event, USMEF joined forces with local importer Lee’s Foodservice Company to conduct a seminar for its major foodservice customers. A total of 49 chefs and restaurateurs participated in the seminar, which was held at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh.

Along with a cutting and cooking demonstration, attendees were provided with general information on U.S. beef, pork and lamb production and processing and received promotional materials explaining the attributes of U.S. red meat.

“Cambodia’s foodservice sector has excellent potential for expansion, and we were very pleased with the level of interest in this USMEF seminar,” Yin said. “We are also seeing strong growth in Cambodia’s retail sector, with several of Asia’s best-known supermarket and hypermarket chains establishing a presence here.”

The U.S. has not recorded any pork exports to Cambodia in 2012, but beef exports are on the rise. Through September, U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports to Cambodia increased 77 percent in volume and 74 percent in value from a year ago, reaching 110 metric tons (242,508 pounds) valued at $861,500.