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Training Program Underway in Colombia to Boost U.S. Red Meat Sales in Foodservice

Published: Jun 25, 2024

The four-city, six-month-long training program, which addresses operational and marketing issues, will help restaurants become more profitable with U.S. pork, beef.

Decision-makers in Colombia’s foodservice sector turned out last month for the third phase of a comprehensive training program for U.S. pork and beef that took place on consecutive days in Medellin, Bogota, Cartagena and Cali. For the four cities, 135 participants from 65 companies with 694 points-of-sale participated in the training sessions, which focused on butchery analysis and technical specifications.

“In working with restaurants, we identified operational issues that were common among accounts and across markets in the country,” says USMEF Colombia Representative María Isabel Ruíz. “These issues were affecting purchasing plans so we constructed a training program to help them consider new and alternative practices.”

USMEF Chef Nicolás Diáz, who has worked closely with Colombian restaurants in numerous cities, developed a training program consisting of five separate sessions. Ruiz, Diaz and Latin America Representative Homero Recio determined the most efficient way to implement the program was through monthly, group training sessions in each of four key markets.

A food cost specialist and USMEF Chef Nicolás Diáz discuss cost percentages in valuing whole and portioned cuts of meat during the half-day, Module 3 training session in Cartagena.

Five training modules were developed to address the most common issues facing restaurants related to calculating costs, handling, merchandising and marketing of U.S. pork and beef. Participants in each city who complete all five modules will receive a diploma certifying their participation and knowledge about high-quality U.S. red meat. The program began in March and will conclude in August.

“This training program will help our foodservice clients properly image U.S. pork and beef and become more profitable with U.S. product,” says Ruíz.

Funding for the program is provided by the Beef Checkoff Program, the National Pork Board, the soybean and corn checkoff programs and USDA’s Market Access Program.