USMEF recently held a series of seminars in Manila, the Philippines, to promote the quality and safety of U.S. beef and pork, and to educate importers about underutilized cuts. Also highlighted were the attributes of U.S. pork as raw materials for further processing. Funding support for the seminars was provided by the Beef Checkoff Program and the Pork Checkoff.
The first seminar was held at the U.S. Embassy in Manila in conjunction with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) and Winrock International, a nonprofit organization focused on improving agriculture practices in developing countries. Hog producers from across the Philippines attended the workshop, which also featured representatives from meat-producing companies and the Philippines’ National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS). USMEF explained the U.S. food safety system and hog production, but the seminar also included a presentation on methods to improve cold chain management.
The following day, USMEF hosted a seminar for Filipino processors on raw material selection and utilization. The workshop was supported by USDA-FAS and the Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI). Sabrina Yin, USMEF’s director in the ASEAN region, provided an economic update on current beef and pork production and price trends. Travis Arp, USMEF technical services manager, discussed how U.S. production practices improve meat quality and the importance of using high-quality raw materials in the production of further processed products.
Arp said that working with the further processing sector is an important step in expanding U.S. pork exports to the Philippines.
“The Philippines is largely a market for further processing, dictated by finding low-cost suppliers,” he said. “Educating processors on the benefits of using U.S. pork as a raw material and how high-quality raw materials improve further processed product quality is key to increasing demand for U.S. products.”
The final seminar in the series included a luncheon in central Manila for local red meat importers to discuss current price trends and introduce them to alternative beef cuts that are gaining popularity in the Asia Pacific region. In attendance were buyers of U.S. beef and pork who provide products to end users, ranging from wholesale to food service.
“We were working with both importers of beef and pork products, really trying to expand the scope of cuts that these importers might be interested in,” said Arp. “On the beef side, the Philippines has seen a lot of downward pressure on the ability to buy high-quality short ribs and short plates because they are competing with markets like Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong for those cuts, so we’re trying to expose them to some alternative cuts. On the pork side, we are primarily working with importers of cuts that would go into further processing, and our main objective there is to expose them to the quality attributes of U.S. pork, and why it makes a high-quality raw material for processed products.”
“The Philippines is the largest market for U.S. beef and pork in the ASEAN region,” Yin explained. “In a highly competitive marketplace, introducing new and alternative beef and pork cuts to Filipino buyers will help keep demand for high quality U.S. beef strong, despite high prices.”