LINCOLN, Neb. — The United States of America Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) annual meeting was held in Costa Rica June 11–14.
Updates on new trade markets, including India, Morocco and Costa Rica, were the primary topics of the meeting, according to Daryl Obermeyer, who represents the Nebraska Soybean Board on USAPEEC’s board of directors.
“Costa Rica is a growing market for the United States because they’re developing tourism,” Obermeyer said. “It’s caused a greater demand for food, so it’s a growing market for U.S. poultry.”
Up to 60 percent of all soybean meal is fed to poultry, a number that continues to rise as more companies become antibiotic-free.
“The number one use of soybean meal is domestic poultry,” Obermeyer said. “With that industry growing, it’s important to export poultry out of the country so that we continue to have a growing industry in the United States.”
USAPEEC works to foster trade relationships and provide education about U.S. poultry and best practices for raising poultry. One of these initiatives, funded by the Nebraska Soybean Board, included educational seminars that train poultry inspectors along the Mexican border to recognize spoiled poultry before it’s brought into the country.
“Something I personally like about USAPEEC is that we don’t try to compete with local producers,” Obermeyer said. “We put on seminars to help small family farms and stock smaller grocery stores with our product. We don’t want to run anybody out of business.”
While in Costa Rica, meeting attendees also visited a local elementary school where they painted a mural of a farm scene with the students.
“It’s our goal to assimilate when we come into a new country,” Obermeyer said.