Audio: Hong Kong’s Food Industry Faces another Round of COVID-19 Challenges

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Hong Kong-based Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for the Asia-Pacific, reports on that city’s renewed efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Haggard notes that in January, Hong Kong was one of the first areas outside of China to implement COVID-19 preventive measures. A second wave of infections came in the spring, and now the city is challenged by a new spike in cases. He says Hong Kong’s retail meat sales are very strong and sales through e-commerce are rapidly expanding, but restaurants face a new round of restrictions that allow only takeout service after 6:00 p.m. Haggard explains that while most establishments have remained open throughout the pandemic, COVID-19 has hit Hong Kong’s foodservice and hospitality sectors particularly hard, as they were already feeling the impact of large, pro-democracy demonstrations held late last year.

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The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider.