On June 13, a delegation of 33 buyers and distributors from Hannan Foods Group – one of Japan’s largest meat importing and processing organizations – visited U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) headquarters in Denver. The group received an overview of U.S. red meat production and an explanation of the factors currently impacting prices and supplies. Earlier in the week, the team toured meat processing plants in Iowa and Colorado, as well as a cattle feeding operation. They also visited several retail outlets to gather information on merchandising techniques.
Greg Hanes, USMEF assistant vice president for international marketing and programs explains that Hannan Foods Group is a key contact for USMEF, because the company serves a large number of retail and foodservice outlets throughout Japan. He adds that working with Hannan Foods Group is an effective way of fulfilling one of USMEF’s current marketing objectives – to aggressively expand the presence of U.S. beef and pork outside of Japan’s major metropolitan areas.
Through April, Japan is this year’s largest value destination for U.S. pork exports ($672.4 million) and U.S. beef exports ($422.8 million), and ranks second only to Mexico in volume (168,625 metric tons for pork and 67,295 metric tons for beef – all value and volume totals include both muscle cuts and variety meat).