USMEF recently exhibited U.S. beef for the first time at the World Food Expo (WOFEX) Visayas, a hotel, restaurant and catering exposition held at the Cebu International Convention Center. Located in the Visayas Islands that make up the central Philippines, Cebu is a popular tourist destination well-known for its beautiful beaches and national parks. USMEF’s participation was supported by the Beef Checkoff and the USDA Market Access Program (MAP).
“This was a regional event, held on a smaller scale than many other trade shows in the ASEAN region,” said USMEF-ASEAN director Sabrina Yin. “However, it served as an excellent platform for sharing information about the quality and availability of U.S. beef. Despite some of the market access issues we have experienced recently in the Philippines, visitors to our booth made it clear that they welcome U.S. beef and see it as a very positive addition to their menus.”
In addition to steady booth traffic at the exposition, USMEF had the opportunity to make several valuable trade contacts at a cocktail trade reception hosted by FAS-Manila.
“A smaller event often lends itself to personal, face-to-face contacts with prospective buyers, and we certainly found that to be the case in Cebu,” Yin said. “This is such a rapidly growing area for tourism that is important to develop a stronger USMEF presence with hotel and restaurant representatives.”
The first five months of the year have seen mixed results for U.S. beef in the Philippines. Total U.S. beef exports are 2 percent behind last year’s pace in volume (5,013 mt, or 11 million pounds) and 31 percent higher in value ($18.87 million).