Market Visits Explore Export Opportunities for U.S. Pork in Panama, Colombia

Meetings with the trade and in-market tours in Panama and Colombia in January demonstrated the region’s market potential for U.S. pork to members of the National Pork Board (NPB). USMEF worked with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the National Pork Board on daily agendas and led the team on a week-long review of both markets.

In addition to leading market visits, USMEF representatives Lucia Ruano, Gerardo Rodriguez, Don Mason and Maria Ruiz presented market briefings with FAS staff while USMEF Director of Trade Analysis Jessica Spreitzer provided a trade update to importers in Colombia. FAS hosted a sustainability forum, which included presentations by Colombian pork producers and NPB.

““The Pork Board saw this as an opportunity to see firsthand the work USMEF does in-country to develop and grow markets for U.S. pork,” says USMEF Chair-elect Randy Spronk, pork producer and farmer in Edgerton, Minn., and past president of National Pork Producers Council. “It was a good immersion into two markets with which we have free trade agreements.”

Spronk has visited Colombia in the past and participated in the 2016 USMEF Latin America Product Showcase in Panama City. He observed numerous advances in the way U.S. pork is distributed and sold. See video about the market visits to Panama and Colombia.

The U.S. pork industry delegation tours a supermarket in Cartagena, Colombia

“When you talk about market diversification, Central and South America have the populations and the opportunity to become another Mexico for our pork,” adds Spronk.

Spronk offers additional observations from the mission in this USMEF video.