According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), the Caribbean has developed into a very strong market for U.S. pork and beef. In 2010, pork exports achieved robust growth – increasing 19 percent to $92.6 million. Beef exports to the region totaled $103 million, a 28 percent increase over the previous year. Over the last five years, export value to the Caribbean has increased by 90 percent of U.S. pork and 75 percent for U.S. beef.

Critical to this rapid growth has been the expansion of U.S. beef and pork’s presence beyond the high-end tourism and foodservice industries and into the retail meat case. The region’s supermarket sector is becoming more modern and sophisticated, and buyers are looking for high-quality fresh meat offerings that will appeal to the local population.

To capitalize on those opportunities for U.S. beef and pork, the USMEF hosted a team of nine retail buyers.  

In the audio below, Vernon Persad, owner of Persad’s “D” Food King grocery store in Trinidad and president of the Supermarkets’ Association of Trinidad and Tobago says that he was tremendously impressed with the care and dedication he observed at U.S. livestock operations and with the quality products available from U.S. processors. As a result of the visit, he plans to become a strong advocate for bringing more U.S. beef and pork into Trinidad and Tobago.

Buyers from Aruba, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos Islands also participated.