April 12, 2006


USMEF woos Japanese beef traders through trade shows



The US beef industry is going on the charm offensive in Japan and hoping eagerly for a comeback to the latter's market, where US beef had been largely absent for the past two years.


To gain a higher profile, the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) took part in three trade shows in the country last month to revive flagging interest for US pork and beef products.


USEMEF took part in The Super Showcase in Tokyo, an event which drew more than 70,000 participants. The organisation courted retailers who expressed interest in its latest offerings and also took pains to disseminate safety information for US pork and beef products. 


The organisation also participated in FOODEX, the largest food trade-show in Asia, presenting a US beef virtual tour video and providing the latest US beef safety information to visitors.


USMEF Senior Marketing Director Takemichi Yamashoji said video is a good alternative for Japanese traders to understand US beef production and safety methods as many have never been to US beef facilities.


Despite these efforts, half the 4,000-odd respondents at an opinion poll conducted at the show indicated they would adopt a wait-and-see attitude before purchasing US beef.


USMEF is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the US red meat industry and is funded by USDA, exporting companies, and various agricultural checkoff programmes.

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