Trade show reveals opportunities for U.S. meat in Europe

Event has evolved into global meat showcase.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) recently participated in Anuga, a biennial food trade show held in Cologne, Germany, that attracts importers, exporters and food industry companies from more than 100 countries.

While the overall focus of this year’s show was on new products and innovation, USMEF expanded its strategy during the five-day event to identify opportunities for U.S. beef and pork in Europe and surrounding markets. USMEF’s participation was possible through support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP) and member companies taking part in Anuga.

USMEF president Dan Halstrom explained that Anuga was an ideal venue for the U.S. beef and pork industries to check in on competitors in what has become a fast-growing global marketplace for red meat.

Although Anuga is highly concentrated on trade opportunities in Europe, Russia and the Middle East, USMEF said influences from Japan, Korea, China and Latin America were also quite noticeable.

“It’s truly a global food show,” he said.

At Anuga this year, USMEF was able to take advantage of the diverse audience, educating buyers from some of the new and emerging markets around the world through face-to-face meetings and tastings of U.S. beef and pork. Discussions with buyers and importers revealed that demand for U.S. red meat products remains high, despite ongoing challenges with pricing and trade issues.

One of the U.S.’s largest opportunities in the European Union market, which was on display, was the U.S. beef business, Halstrom said. “We have a very high-end, niche business into the EU with high-quality grain-fed beef in the U.S. It’s also some of the most expensive beef that comes into Europe, but there is a demand that is growing,” he said.

The event also allowed USMEF to gauge competition.

“Whether it was beef or pork, there were very extreme examples of our competitors. On the beef side, Australians were there in force,” Halstrom said.

Beef from Ireland, Scotland and South America also was well represented, he added.

“We’re not the only ones to figure out the opportunities in the global trade scenario as it relates to international business,” he noted.

On the pork side, Halstrom said there was a very strong influence from Europe.

“Overall, the Anuga experience was a very good display of not only of the competition but of the opportunities going forward,” he said.

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