USMEF: Pork industry gets look at Panamanian market

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Cathy Vaughan of Laverne, Okla., is one of 20 pork producers who recently visited Panama as part of the Pork Leadership Institute (PLI) program designed to help develop future leaders for the U.S. pork industry. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) hosted the PLI team in cooperation with the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council.

Vaughan, who is safety and worker compliance coordinator and communications coordinator for the Oklahoma operations of Murphy-Brown LLC, offers observations from the delegation’s activities in Panama, including a U.S. pork promotion at Supermercados El Rey, one of Panama’s leading supermarket chains.The group also enjoyed a visit to a specialty retailer known as a “meat boutique” operated by Pretelt Exclusive Meats. This family business was founded as a meat importer and eventually expanded into distribution, retail and foodservice. Pretelt has worked closely with USMEF for several years, expanding its menu of U.S. pork cuts to include baby back ribs, tenderloin and St. Louis ribs.

Since the U.S.-Panama Trade Agreement came into force just over a year ago, Panama has emerged as a very promising market for U.S. pork. Through September, pork exports to Panama are up 57 percent in volume (8,241 metric tons) and 46 percent in value ($17.1 million) compared to the same period in 2012, making Panama this year’s 15th-largest volume market for U.S. pork. It ranks 18th in terms of export value.

Cathy Vaughan of Laverne, Okla., is one of 20 pork producers who recently visited Panama as part of the Pork Leadership Institute (PLI) program designed to help develop future leaders for the U.S. pork industry. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) hosted the PLI team in cooperation with the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council.

Vaughan, who is safety and worker compliance coordinator and communications coordinator for the Oklahoma operations of Murphy-Brown LLC, offers observations from the delegation’s activities in Panama, including a U.S. pork promotion at Supermercados El Rey, one of Panama’s leading supermarket chains.The group also enjoyed a visit to a specialty retailer known as a “meat boutique” operated by Pretelt Exclusive Meats. This family business was founded as a meat importer and eventually expanded into distribution, retail and foodservice. Pretelt has worked closely with USMEF for several years, expanding its menu of U.S. pork cuts to include baby back ribs, tenderloin and St. Louis ribs.

Since the U.S.-Panama Trade Agreement came into force just over a year ago, Panama has emerged as a very promising market for U.S. pork. Through September, pork exports to Panama are up 57 percent in volume (8,241 metric tons) and 46 percent in value ($17.1 million) compared to the same period in 2012, making Panama this year’s 15th-largest volume market for U.S. pork. It ranks 18th in terms of export value.



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