A team of about 20 representatives of the beef, pork, corn and soybean industries traveled to South Korea and Japan last week with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Heartland team to examine how checkoff dollars are being used to promote U.S. beef and pork in the region.
The Heartland Team visited a beef processing plant, various retail sites and the headquarters of a leading hamburger chain. With home meal and restaurant meal replacement kits soaring in popularity, the group also got a firsthand demonstration of how U.S. pork and beef are utilized in these kits.
Matt Sullivan, NCB District 2 Director from Superior, Neb. and Michael Dibbern, Nebraska Corn Growers Association Vice President and farmer from, Cairo, Neb. were members of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Heartland Team for a trade mission to both South Korea and Japan from Sept. 10-16. They met with U.S. Embassy officials and industry representatives, explored how U.S. red meat is merchandised and learned about emerging opportunities in food service, convenience stores and e-commerce.
“After recently joining NCB as a director, I experienced first-hand from USMEF what they are doing to build demand for red meat internationally with our local product,” said Matt Sullivan. “When walking through a grocery store in Japan, I found a package of “American Beef,” with the NCB logo, connecting over 6,000 miles from where it’s grown to consumed. Culturally, consumers want to see where their meat is coming from, and the specifics of Nebraska bridge the gap. This mission provided an invaluable global look at a locally grown product.”
Each of these three trade missions have the goal to collaborate and increase demand for corn, corn-fed red meat and value-added biofuels produced in Nebraska. They expand the reach of Nebraska-grown corn worldwide, create and deepen relationships with customers and provide first-hand knowledge of the impact locally grown corn can make. As Nebraska Corn continually evaluates livestock partners, partnerships and value created, the organization focuses on international export growth and potential market exposure.