U.S. Meat Export Federation Chairman (USMEF) John Bellinger and President Philip Seng are in Japan this week participating in U.S. beef relaunch activities.
This campaign is to press for relaxation of Japan's embargo on beef from cattle over 20 months old. The executives of USMEF told a Tokyo press conference that scientists are studying the bovine spongiform encephalopathy profile of cattle aged 21 months to 23 months, a possible compromise position between the 20 months demanded by Japan and the 30-month limit favored by the United States.
According to chairman John Bellinger experiences with beef buyers and consumers have been extremely positive.
According to Seng, USMEF expects about 15,000 tons of beef to enter the market by the end of the year, and about 120,000 tons should be sold in 2007. That is less than half of the roughly 275,000 tons sold in 2003, before the market closed.
Based on a latest consumer tracking survey conducted last week, more than 51.9 percent Japanese consumers agree with their government’s decision to resume U.S. beef imports while 54.5 percent said they would order U.S. beef in restaurants and 50.5 percent would purchase U.S. beef at supermarkets.
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)