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Germany becomes leading European market for U.S. beef

Beef exports to EU continue to be constrained by lack of adequate capacity in EU's duty-free high-quality beef quota.

Germany has become one of the leading European destinations for high-quality U.S. beef as a result of the country’s high standard of living, large per capita meat consumption and receptive attitude toward imported food products, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) reported.

“While Germans, just like many Europeans, are very loyal to their domestic meat product, they also are very open [to] and accepting of imported foods,” Yuri Barutkin, USMEF representative in Europe, said. “U.S. beef is present at many high-end restaurants. It is also featured in numerous retail outlets, and it has recently been actively promoted through online trade as well.”

Barutkin also discussed recent U.S. beef promotional activities in Germany that were conducted with support from the Beef Checkoff. In Cologne, Germany, USMEF collaborated with major European importer Nice to Meat to hold “Barbecue Prime Night,” promoting alternative beef cuts such as chuck roll and inside skirt. During Hamburg Food Week, a special menu of U.S. beef was showcased at several local restaurants. USMEF also held an educational dinner for prospective customers and culinary media in Düsseldorf, Germany.

“We have had very positive feedback from our partners, who have said everyone participating in the events featuring U.S. beef were thrilled by its quality and its consistency and a great product,” Barutkin noted.

According to USMEF, U.S. beef exports to the European Union continue to be constrained by a lack of adequate capacity in the EU's duty-free high-quality beef quota.

“Germany is one of the markets that holds excellent growth potential once the United States has a country-specific share of the duty-free quota – a provision on which the U.S. and EU recently reached agreement but which still requires approval from the European Parliament,” USMEF said, adding that it hopes to see the provision implemented in early 2020.

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