Amid Record Prices, USMEF Promotes Value of US BeefThu, 07 Aug 2014 11:40:10 CDT
Record beef prices and tight US beef supplies, a combination that makes it tough to sell US beef internationally. That's a challenging job for US Meat Export Federation President and Chief Executive Officer Phil Seng. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm News Director Ron Hays recently visited with Seng at the Summer Cattle Industry Convention in Denver. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear his comments. Seng said they are letting customers around the world that US beef still needs to be on their shopping list.
"One of the things we are doing internationally is we're trying to explain to a lot of our valued customers overseas why you're paying more for our product than you ever have before," Seng said. "We're trying to show this value - price relationship."
Other than Korean beef and Japanese beef, US beef is the most expensive beef in the world. Seng said in working with Australia, India or other competitors they are doing a lot to demonstrate the value of US beef.
"We're doing a lot to try and extol really the virtues of US beef and our US beef production and the deliverables you get with US beef, that's probably one of the key things we are doing at this point and time," Seng said.
In promoting US beef USMEF is also talking about sustainability and animal welfare. Seng said they are not putting this issues out there directly, but they are subtly getting these messages across. He said these all emerging issues internationally.
The underlying issue is the small US beef supply and growing international demand for US beef. Seng said China is making a impact on the market in increasing their imports.
"Almost this year alone, China has increased its imports almost equal to what the whole nation of Japan consumers," Seng said. "So its huge when you start looking at how supplies are down and yet this demand factor is still going up."
In 2006 China began accepting US boneless beef under 30 months of age. Seng said at that time the US stood behind belief of all cattle, all ages, all products or nothing. Since then the US has been working with the Chinese for full access to that market. Seng said in recent days the Chinese have had a trade inspection team in the US to look at the safety of the American beef with hopes the Chinese will begin to accept all US beef, all ages sooner rather than later.
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