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Nebraska Farmers Examine Asian Markets for U.S. Meat

by 5m Editor
29 March 2007, at 9:04am

US - The U.S. must continue to fight hard for increased shares of beef and pork markets in Asia. That's the consensus of three Nebraska producers who spent a week in Japan and Taiwan attending the U.S. Meat Export Federation Market Expo.

Included in the group were Troy McCain, pork producer from DeWitt; David McCracken, beef producer from Friend; and David Merrell, Nebraska Corn Board member from St. Edward. The Nebraska Corn Board sponsored their travel and participation in the event.

McCracken says that U.S. beef exports to Japan are starting to recover from the damage caused by BSE, but it will take time.

"With Japan, it will be a waiting process. There are a lot of hoops to jump through and I think we just have to be patient," McCracken says. "In talking to their consumers and salespeople, they want our beef, regardless of what we hear in the United States. It will go off the shelves if we can get it into the supermarkets and restaurants."

Australia has a strong presence in the Japanese beef market, but Merrell says that Japanese consumers prefer U.S. corn fed beef.

"Our corn-fed beef is much better than the grass-fed beef that's grown in Australia," Merrell says. "You can just see it by the marbling in the display cases and if you go to the stores here, you'll notice that the consumers prefer the corn fed beef way more than the Australian grass feed beef."

U.S. pork exports to Asia have been steadily increasing for several years. However, McCain says that it is still important that we listen to what the Asian consumer wants. "In Japan, they are very particular about what they want. They know what they like and we need to make sure that we keep our communications open in order to provide them what they desire," he adds. "You know, we have our own flavors and tastes, but we need to realize that's not what the rest of world is, and whatever they would like to have on their table at night is something that we need to provide."

Source: Nebraska Farmer

5m Editor