Another setback for U.S. beef in Korea

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Friday, September 07, 2007

There has been another setback for the re-entry of United States into the Korean beef market.

Again, banned ribs have been detected in two U.S. consignments. As a result South Korea has revoked the trade permit of U.S. beef processing plant, Swift & Co, as well as a Cargill plant, blunting calls from both the U.S. and Australia for full access for American product.

The decision follows prior warnings against the companies for previous breaches of the import rules last month.

The event is another blow for the credibility of the U.S. product's safety among consumers, who are crying out for access to higher volumes of cheap - but safe - imported beef.

Meat and Livestock Australia's Korean regional manager, Glen Feist, says that if the U.S. can prove to Korean consumers that its beef is safe, its return will help rebuild overall demand for red meat.

Prior to the ban on U.S. product average beef consumption in Korea was 8.1 kg/person/year in 2003 - that fell to 6.5 kg in 2007.

But by opening the market to U.S. supplies and addressing food safety concerns, Mr Feist believes that pie could regrow to as much as 10 kg/person by 2010, giving Australia a more secure share of a much bigger market.

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