January 10, 2011
Possible Progress on U.S.-Mexico Trucking Dispute The U.S. Department of Transportation today has unveiled an initial concept document that could form the basis for resolving the U.S./Mexico trucking dispute that resulted in the placement last August of a 5 percent import tariff on U.S. pork hams and shoulders and a 20 percent duty on imports of cooked U.S. pork skin. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the program concept that he said emphasizes safety “while satisfying the United States’ international obligations.” The initial response from the Mexican government has been positive. Humberto Trevino, Mexico’s deputy transport minister, told reporters that his government would review the proposal and respond by Monday. If an agreement is reached, he indicated that the series of retaliatory tariffs Mexico imposed on U.S goods would be lifted. “It could be within weeks,” he said, although reports out of Washington, D.C., indicated that this is the beginning of a negotiation process that would more likely take several months to resolve. [top]
U.S. Pork Message Delivered to Guatemala and Honduras Sales Teams, Consumers Guatemala and Honduras, targets of opportunity identified by USMEF for pork export growth, are receiving a two-pronged educational initiative designed to reach both retailers and consumers in the Central American region. Supported by funding from the Pork Checkoff and the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), the sales force training seminars developed by USMEF are designed to equip retail personnel in Honduras and Guatemala with the technical and product knowledge needed to help them effectively sell U.S. pork to their customers. Participants in the seminars learn about the structural composition of U.S. pork, new and alternative cuts, merchandising strategies and how to make value-added products, including marinated ready-to-cook kebabs; pork butt steaks marinated in a mix of achiote, garlic, onion, oregano and salt; and chorizo. “Our purpose in these seminars is to position U.S. pork as a safe and healthy protein option, introduce new products, enhance awareness of the U.S. brand, and provide retail personnel with the knowledge they need to effectively communicate the advantages American pork offers to consumers,” said Gerardo Rodriguez, USMEF director for trade development for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic. A specific goal of the sessions is to familiarize participants with the qualities of U.S. pork butt, a cut that has been identified by USMEF’s export and processing members as one with potential for export growth. “We focused on the flavor and tenderness of the butt that will appeal to consumers in Mexico and Central America,” said Max Covaliu, USMEF corporate chef in Mexico. “We also position the butt as an option to the pork loin so that it is viewed as a higher-end item.” More than 70 retail personnel attended the three seminars, two of which were held in Honduras. One session was held exclusively for staff from La Colonia, the largest supermarket chain in Honduras. Mobile Pork Kitchen In a separate initiative, USMEF-Mexico has developed a mobile kitchen to help bolster the awareness of U.S. pork products in the region. Initial use of the mobile kitchen has been in Guatemala to reach consumers at Walmart stores – named Paiz in Guatemala – La Torre supermarkets and other supermarkets in the country. The mobile kitchen will be making 36 appearances in Guatemala City, San Lucas and Antigua during December 2010 and January 2011, bringing a USMEF chef and staff to invite shoppers to prepare a sample U.S. pork recipe in the mobile kitchen and experience the advantages of American pork first-hand. The mobile kitchen promotion also is supported by funding from the Pork Checkoff and the Market Access Program as well as a partnership with Malher Seasonings. Visitors to the kitchen receive a pork recipe cookbook and Mahler kitchen towels. Through the first 10 months of 2010, U.S. pork exports to Honduras are up 23 percent in volume and 49 percent in value to 15,834 metric tons (34.9 million pounds) sold for $34.1 million. American pork exports to Guatemala are up 43 percent in volume and 59 percent in value to 8,038 metric tons (17.7 million pounds) valued at $18.2 million. [top]
Japanese Media Meet for Educational Session More than 40 leading Japanese journalists met recently for an educational and networking program hosted by USMEF-Japan that featured presentations by several prominent Japanese scientists addressing issues including risk communication and nutrition. Dr. Hideaki Karaki of Tokyo University, a leading risk communicator and advocate of science-based communication, discussed his area of specialty with the journalists who represented national newspapers, trade journals and a highly regarded science website run by the Nikkei Newspaper group. He was joined by Dr. Yoshihiro Ozawa, special advisor to the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health), and Reiko Hashimoto, a well-known registered nutritionist, who both are well-versed on food safety issues in Japan and the U.S. “This program was a great opportunity for USMEF to provide a scientific briefing as background information to help key reporters and editors understand issues that confront Japanese society today, and those that may be more of an issue in the future,” said Susumu (Sam) Harada, USMEF-Tokyo’s senior director for Trade Projects and Technical Services. Dr. Karaki addressed the key food safety issues of the year in Japan, as well as his thoughts on how Japan’s food safety and compliance standards should be handled by the government without creating confusion among consumers. Harada presented a special report on the recent World Meat Congress which focused on a number of issues that are gaining attention to varying degrees around the globe, including sustainability in livestock production, the carbon footprint of agriculture, production efficiency, animal welfare and private standards. The group also discussed the importance of international division of labor and service in order to maintain a stable international food supply, and whether Japan would need to consider using diplomatic tools to secure its food supply. For the food journalists in attendance, USMEF-Tokyo staff presented both pork and beef recipe information designed for Japanese consumers, as well as details on USMEF’s most recent consumer information campaigns. The session was funded through the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) as well as both the Beef Checkoff and Pork Checkoff programs. During the coming year, USMEF-Tokyo will continue to offer monthly educational programs for Japanese media, starting with a Jan. 18 session featuring a technical expert from the U.S. embassy in Tokyo. Each session will include information on the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. beef and pork industries and will address current food industry topics of interest. [top]
Waiting Room Only for USMEF International Market Education Program USMEF’s International Market Education Program to Japan and Taiwan is now fully subscribed. Members interested in being placed on a waiting list should contact Jackie Boubin at firstname.lastname@example.org. The USMEF group will visit the key export markets of Japan and Taiwan from Feb. 27 to March 5, 2011. [top]
Food & Hotel Indonesia USMEF is planning to promote U.S. red meat products at Food & Hotel Indonesia, in the capital at the Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran, April 6-9, 2011. Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world — 240 million — and this is the leading trade show. For more information, contact Tammy Connolly at 303-623-6328 or email@example.com. FoodPro 2011 in Sydney, Australia The Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre is the venue for FoodPro 2011, July 10-13, 2011, a major show designed to be the “interface between the food technology sector and the food processing industry,” focusing on “the current trends in food processing and innovation through modern technology.” USMEF-ASEAN will be there and invites members to participate. For more information, contact Tammy Connolly at 303-623-6328 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ProdExpo Moscow USMEF is planning on a higher-profile presence at next year’s ProdExpo, Feb. 7-11 in Moscow. This is the 18th annual ProdExpo, the largest food trade show in Russia. For more information, contact Tammy Connolly at 303-623-6328 or email@example.com. Seoul Food & Hotel 2011 USMEF-Korea is promoting both U.S. pork and U.S. beef at Seoul Food & Hotel 2011, an amalgamation of Seoul Food and Food & Hotel Korea, April 26-29, 2011. For more information, contact Tammy Connolly at 303-623-6328 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Anuga Europe’s most important trade shows — Anuga and Sial — take place in alternate years. Next year it’s Anuga’s turn. The show — Oct. 8-12, 2011 — expects more than 6,500 exhibitors and approximately 150,000 trade visitors from around the world. For more information, contact Tammy Connolly at 303-623-6328 or email@example.com. FHC China 2010, Shanghai November 2011 USMEF will exhibit at FHC China 2010 — “The most international trade show for food, wine and hospitality equipment in China” — in Shanghai, Nov 11-13, 2011. Because of current restrictions on U.S. beef exports to China, USMEF is concentrating on promoting pork at this show. If you wish to exhibit with USMEF at FHC China 2010, contact Tammy Connolly at 303- 623-6328 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Expo Carnes 2011 Members interested in exhibiting at Expo Carnes in Monterrey, Mexico, February 2-5, 2011, should contact Tammy Connolly at (303) 623-6328 or email@example.com. This is an important trade show attracting buyers from all over Mexico. [top]
USMEF Celebrates McDonald’s 40th Anniversary in Japan The world’s largest market for U.S. pork was introduced to the newest way to enjoy American bacon when USMEF joined McDonald’s for its announcement of four new signature hamburgers at a press event attended by 100 reporters in Tokyo this week. The new Texas 2 Burger, which features several slices of delicious American pork bacon, is one of four signature hamburgers McDonald’s debuted this week in Tokyo to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of McDonald’s in Japan. “McDonald’s has long been an active and valuable partner with the U.S. pork industry internationally, using value-added pork products in its restaurants,” said USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng, who was invited by McDonald’s to address the press gathering. Seng noted that McDonald’s was a pioneer in introducing imported foods to Japan – a fact that caused some in the industry to question whether the restaurant chain would survive in a country unaccustomed to American-style food. McDonald’s thrived and led the way for other American agricultural imports, which now exceed $16 billion per year. As for U.S. pork, McDonald’s is a leader there too, utilizing only 100 percent American pork. “Already McDonald’s in Japan annually sells more than 20,000 metric tons (44 million pounds) of American pork sausage patties and 2,000 metric tons (4.4 million pounds) of bacon at its 4,000 restaurants that serve more than 1.5 billion customers per year,” Seng said. “Now they have added the Texas 2 Burger, which features several slices of delicious American pork bacon. It is one more outstanding addition to the McDonald’s menu in Japan and another vehicle for showcasing the quality of U.S. pork.” McDonald’s also introduced three other signature hamburgers – the Idaho Burger, the Manhattan Burger and the Miami Burger – to share unique regional American hamburger recipes with international consumers. At the media event, USMEF-Japan provided reporters with background information on the U.S. pork that makes a number of McDonald’s menu items distinctive. USMEF-Japan’s participation in the McDonald’s celebration was supported through funding from the Pork Checkoff and USDA Market Access Program. Through the first 10 months of 2010, Japan was the leading value market for U.S. pork exports, purchasing 358,578 metric tons (more than 790 million pounds) of pork valued at $1.35 billion. [top]
USMEF, Texas Beef Council Host Great American Barbecue in Hong Kong In an annual holiday tradition made possible through the outstanding support of the Texas Beef Council, USMEF-Hong Kong and the American Consulate General recently held their Great American Barbecue event at Hong Kong’s expansive Kowloon Cricket Club. The theme of this year’s event was The Great American Barbecue 2010 – a Texas Treat. About 500 of Hong Kong’s most prominent food and beverage operators, retailers, executive chefs and meat importers were in attendance, along with a strong turnout of sponsors and local media. This year’s event attracted the largest number of beef packers (nine) and brands (12) ever to participate. In a new feature this year, restaurants were paired with a packer/importer in each booth for preparation of signature dishes. Roughly 1,500 pounds of U.S. beef were served in a wide range of dishes – including slow pit roasted beef, steaks-to-order, as well as traditional Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisine. Anders Nelsson, a highly recognized songwriter and music producer in Hong Kong, acted as master of ceremonies and articulated stories of the Texas culinary tradition. “Year after year, the Great American Barbecue is regarded as one of the finest and most anticipated food events in Hong Kong,” said Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific region. “It’s only through the wonderful partnership USMEF has with the Texas Beef Council and USDA that we are able to coordinate such a first-class display for U.S. beef and many other U.S. products.” For the Texas Beef Council, the Great American Barbecue represents an annual opportunity to showcase beef prepared Texas-style and reaffirm its commitment to global marketing. “If there is one thing the Texas Beef Council has learned over the years, it’s that international marketing is not something you jump into and jump out of,” said Executive Vice President Richard Wortham. “Global marketing is something you have to build on and sustain, constantly working to build key relationships. The Great American Barbecue offers a wonderful opportunity to do just that, and in one of the fastest growing markets in the world for U.S. beef.” U.S. pork was also featured at the barbecue, including pulled pork shoulder for sandwiches, bone-in pork chops and smoked sausages. Grain-fed U.S. lamb racks were also a popular item at the event. While mainland China remains closed to U.S. beef, Hong Kong has been an excellent market in 2010. Through October, exports of U.S. beef to Hong Kong have totaled 28,400 metric tons (62.6 million pounds) valued at $108 million. This is a 53 percent increase in volume and a 70 percent increase in value over last year’s pace. U.S. pork exports to Hong Kong are down slightly this year, but still totaled 141,608 metric tons (312.2 million pounds) valued at $202.1 million through the first 10 months of the year. Hong Kong is also a promising market for U.S. lamb. This year’s exports remain relatively small (64 metric tons or about 141,000 pounds) but have more than tripled in value over 2009 by reaching $259,000 through October. *All totals above include muscle cuts and variety meat. [top]
USMEF 2011 Executive Committee Announced U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Chairman Keith Miller, a farmer-stockman from Great Bend, Kan., has announced the organization’s 2011 executive committee. USMEF’s membership and its executive committee are drawn from the nine industry segments that comprise the organization, which celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2011. “USMEF represents the full spectrum of the U.S. agriculture industry and touches every aspect from the farm to the export of American red meat products,” said Miller. “I believe that this executive committee will provide outstanding representation to our industry over the coming year.” Officers for the current year, which runs through November, are:
- Keith Miller, chairman, representing the Kansas Farm Bureau
- Danita Rodibaugh, chairman-elect, family farm operator in Rensselaer, Ind., producing corn, soybeans, wheat and purebred seedstock swine; representing the National Pork Board (NPB)
- Steve Isaf, vice-chairman, president of Atlanta-based Interra International
- Mark Jagels, secretary/treasurer, farmer and director of the Nebraska Corn Board from Davenport, Neb.
- Jim Peterson, past chairman, representing the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), from Buffalo, Mont.
- Bruce Schmoll, oilseeds producing sector, representing Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, from Claremont, Minn.
- Roel Andriessen, packing/processing sector, representing Tyson Foods, from Dakota Dunes, S.D.
- James Teitscheid, lamb producing and feeding sector, representing the American Lamb Board, from Denver, Colo.
- Wayne Peugh, pork producing and feeding sector, representing NPB, from Dunlap, Ill.
- Calvin Rozenboom, farm organizations sector, representing the Iowa Farm Bureau, from Oskaloosa, Iowa
- Bill Rhea, beef/veal producing and feeding sector, representing the Nebraska Beef Council, from Arlington, Neb.
- Maggie O’Quinn, supply and service sector, representing Certified Angus Beef, from Woodland, Ala.
- David Fremark, feedgrains producing sector, representing the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council, from Miller, S.D.
- Kurt Holdmeyer, purveyor/trader sector, representing AJC International, Inc., from Atlanta, Ga.
- Jill Appell, at-large representative from the National Pork Producers Council, from Altoona, Ill.
- Mike Skahill, at-large representative from Smithfield Foods, from Smithfield, Va.
- Luisa Jaca, at-large representative from NCBA, from Nampa, Idaho
- Dan Dierschke, at-large representative from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, from Austin, Texas
- Leann Saunders, at-large representative from IMI Global, from Castle Rock, Colo.
- Scott Singlestad, advisory representative from the United Soybean Board, from Waseca, Minn.
Unger Meat Company Joins USMEF The Unger Meat Company is USMEF’s first new member of 2011. Located in Vadnais Heights, Minn., the company has 35,000 square feet of production for items such as ground beef, boxed beef, and cut steaks. The Unger Meat Company delivers source-verified, top-quality U.S. raised beef. Contact information: Unger Meat Company 4301 White Bear Parkway Vadnais Heights, MN 55110 Tel.: 651-366-6571 Fax: 651-329-9779 Website: www.ungermeatco.com Jerry Unger, firstname.lastname@example.org Ken Toering, email@example.com Aaron Moe, firstname.lastname@example.org [top]
NAMP MEAT BUYERS GUIDES
Meat Buyers Guides Available to Members The U.S. Meat Export Federation is pleased to offer its members USMEF’s discounted price rate of $50 per book for NAMP Meat Buyers Guides. This document is the new, revised edition of the Meat Buyers Guide that features new items, updated and clarified item descriptions, new photographs, new graphics and an expanded glossary. The order form is online. All USMEF members in good standing are eligible to purchase at this price. The discounted rate includes shipping costs, unless express or next day delivery is requested. In that case, additional shipping charges will apply. Please indicate the exact address to which you want the books shipped. To receive this discount, complete the form and credit card information and fax it to Urner Barry Publishing Co. at (732) 341-0891. [top]