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Agricultural News

International Director for Certified Angus Beef Geof Bednar Sees Opportunity in Chinese Beef Market

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 14:41:00 CDT

International Director for Certified Angus Beef Geof Bednar Sees Opportunity in Chinese Beef Market China has ramped up beef imports in recent years, but high-quality U.S. beef has not had a direct route to that market… until now.

Earlier this year the country lifted its 13-year-old ban on U.S. beef-with that, comes opportunity.

“It will allow us to not only grow our sales and our tonnage, but it's also going to allow us to gain our brand presence in a market that is really looking as they explode in their middle class,” said Geof Bednar, international director for Certified Angus Beef. “They're looking to upgrade their protein. And so, when you look at a country and they begin to develop a middle class the first thing they do is start eating non-plant protein. They go to pork, chicken and so on. But then as they continue to increase their per capita income as a family, beef is the celebration protein.”

To watch a video clip featuring Geof Bednar, international director for Certified Angus Beef LLC, talking about what the Chinese market could mean for sales of high-quality U.S. beef, click or tap the PLAYBOX in the window below.

Chinese consumers have developed a taste for U.S. grain-fed beef, but haven’t had a direct link to get it. For many years U.S. beef was sold into China, only after making a stop in Hong Kong first.

“And that would be one of our top five, six markets for the Certified Angus Beef brand. And certainly, one of the top markets for U.S. beef sales in general, exports,” Bednar said. “As it opens up, it allows us to get in the market first hand, protect the brand from a trademark protection standpoint. But it also allows us now, to not only bring that high-quality beef to the market, but also now to brand it to that consumer, where they gain that trust and loyalty to the brand. So, from a tonnage standpoint, in sales, it's phenomenal the opportunity.”

Regulatory challenges can make it hard to fill orders, but it’s worth the headache because it's more than just increasing pounds sold. This relationship will likely create demand for underutilized cuts-even some not marketed under the brand-and that will add value to the entire carcass.

“One of the great things, though, that international markets do is a lot of those cuts that you and I aren't going to grill tonight, like a tongue or finger meat, which is the muscle between the ribs and those things, thin meats, you know we're not going to serve those tonight on our table,” he said. “But those will bring a premium and sometimes bring as much as a filet or a tenderloin in this market.”

Bednar says exports add around $250 per carcass to each animal sold.

“The beauty of it is even though we're typically the highest priced beef in any one market that we're established in,” Bednar noted, “we are the preferred beef.”

As U.S. beef starts entering China, that’s a market position both cattlemen and the CAB brand are eager to capitalize on.

Source - Certified Angus Beef



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