The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Spring Conference got underway Wednesday in Minneapolis, with USMEF senior staff updating members on industry efforts to expand the international footprint for U.S. red meat and bolster demand for underutilized pork, beef and lamb cuts.
Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen welcomed a strong turnout of producers, exporters, packers, processors and traders from across the nation, praising their collaborative efforts to advance U.S. agriculture by building global demand.
“I really wasn’t a ‘feed-the-world’ type of person when I started as commissioner,” Petersen said. “But as you get out on trade missions and see the world – big cities like Bogota and Lima, and even London and Manila – you realize there’s just a lot of people that need to be fed. This association and others do really good work to bring that forward.”
USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom followed with an overview of the competitive landscape, identifying and detailing a number of opportunities for U.S. market share gains. This included a discussion of the sharp decline in European pork production, which fell nearly 6% last year. With this trend continuing in 2023, Halstrom explained that the U.S. pork industry is in an outstanding position to capitalize on a favorable price and supply situation, especially in the Asia Pacific region.