VIDEO: Virtual Reality Training Showcases U.S. Beef in Mexico

More than 80 importers and chefs in Mexico attended a USMEF workshop that introduced virtual reality technology as an innovative tool to train chefs, butchers, meat cutters and sales personnel.

With funding from the USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), USMEF Corporate Chef German Navarrete conducted a traditional U.S. beef cutting demonstration followed by an identical cutting demonstration presented via software that uses 360-degree video images representing various meat cuts.

U.S. beef ribeye and sirloin were the cuts featured in the USMEF virtual training project. A video on the virtual reality training tool can be seen here.

USMEF Corporate Chef German Navarrete, right, presented a traditional U.S. beef cutting demonstration for the HRI sector in Mexico, followed by a virtual reality training

A chef participates in a virtual reality U.S. beef cutting demonstration

“The goal was to show our partners in Mexico’s hotel, restaurant and institutional (HRI) sector the practical uses for virtual reality training and how realistic and interactive the tool is, while at the same time promoting the advantages of U.S. beef,” said Elena Gonzalez, USMEF HRI manager in Mexico.

“The system allows the session leader to offer real-life scenarios related to meat cutting. Also, we can record the trainings and adapt them to reach bigger and broader audiences.”

Shared on social media with the hashtag #NEXTSTEP, USMEF’s virtual reality training project was launched in early February, before the COVID-19 outbreak was classified as a global pandemic. With social distancing restrictions in place, this virtual reality tool is already a valuable training option in Mexico and Latin America and is a tool that is being considered for adoption and modification by other USMEF offices around the world.