The USMEF Board of Directors Meeting and Product Showcase got underway in St. Louis, with nearly 200 members hearing from several experts on the state of the global marketplace for U.S. beef, pork and lamb.
In his address to USMEF members, President and CEO Philip Seng emphasised the fierce competition that exists in key markets and urged the U.S. industry to remain committed to aggressive promotion and product differentiation.
Seng displayed a slide of more than 20 pork-exporting countries that are competing for market share in Japan. While the United States is the leading exporter of pork to this market and holds an especially strong share of the high-value chilled pork market, he emphasised that this position cannot be taken for granted.
The CEO cited Hong Kong, one of the most rapidly growing destinations for U.S. beef, as another market where competitors are out in full force. Though limited to boneless cuts from cattle less than 30 months of age, this year’s U.S. beef exports to Hong Kong have more than tripled their 2009 pace.
Seng also stressed the advantages of having experienced USMEF staff stationed in major markets and the important role they play in giving U.S. products a competitive edge.
Guest speakers for the opening session included John Brewer, administrator of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Brewer offered highlights of the recent successes achieved by U.S. agricultural products overseas, and the agency’s strategies for further growth.
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation