USMEF Focuses on Growing More Markets While Producers Grow More BeefTue, 01 Apr 2014 11:17:10 CDT
Trying to put meat from the U.S. on the world’s tables-that’s the mission statement of the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
“We’re trying to add value to what we produce here in the United States,” said Mark Jagels of USMEF. “Being a grain farmer and a cattleman, you know, I want to add value to the grain that I raise and add value to the cattle that I sell. Where we’re currently exporting approximately 13 percent of the cattle that we raise to over 120 countries, it’s vitally important that we’re in those countries and making sure we have a presence to export U.S. red meat.”
2013 saw record-high U.S. beef exports and trade added more than $240 value to the head of each animal sold. Jagels said that’s a testament to a favorable reputation.
“We export a very high-quality, corn-fed product to these countries. They appreciate the taste. They appreciate the consistency. They appreciate the quality. And they know that from the U.S. they are getting a safe, wholesome product. So, what we raise, we consume, we eat ourselves.”
The group is pleased with progress in markets like Japan, South America and the Middle East, but the continued overseas work is vital. The USMEF remains especially focused on opening trade with China.
“We have to be cognizant that we have to continue to do market access and market development in these other countries because we have to continue to open markets as we see what our domestic consumption is doing and if we’re going to throw more cattle into the mix, more cows and calves, we’re going to increase that total pounds that we’re going to raise then we’ve got to find a market for it.”
Their strategy? Build the customer base and U.S. herds in tandem.
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