U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Technical Services Manager Travis Arp has just returned from China, where he helped conduct educational seminars for employees of two large meat processing companies. The three-day seminars were designed to showcase the attributes of U.S. pork as a high-quality raw material for sausages, deli meats and other processed pork products.
Arp explains that consistency is one of the strongest selling points of U.S. pork, especially when compared to Chinese domestic pork and raw materials from some of China’s other foreign suppliers. He cites the consistent lean point of U.S. pork, along with water-holding capacity and color stability, as advantages that are of great importance to meat processors.
Last year the China/Hong Kong region was the third-largest destination for U.S. pork and pork variety meat, with exports totaling 417,306 metric tons valued at $903 million. Exports in 2014 (through February) are down 6 percent in volume compared to last year’s pace, but are 4 percent higher in value.