In addition to promoting the export of U.S. soybeans, soymeal and soyoil, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council’s Market Development action team has long invested approximately $400,000 annually to promote U.S. pork exports, with Japan as one of the primary focus areas.
“Because Minnesota is the third-largest pork producing state, this investment helps export Minnesota soybeans in the form of pork,” said MSR&PC Director of Market Development Kim Nill. “Minnesota producers are earning a high rate of return during this particular year of difficult soybean exports.”
Funded in part by the annual investment, the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) Japan-based staff has been able to create a popular multifaceted branding campaign for the U.S. pork products that it promotes in that premium-priced meat products market.
“Centered around a USMEF-trademarked cartoon mascot character named “GOCHIPO,” Nill said. “This campaign has helped introduce Japanese consumers to U.S. thick-cut pork products, in addition to supporting sales of the thin-sliced pork products popular in Japan.”
In its February 2019 U.S. Meats Supply and Use report issued last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting 6,300 million pounds of U.S. pork exports during 2019, which will be a new record high.
The state of Minnesota outpaced the nation in agricultural export growth during 2018 at 14 percent versus 1.2 percent for the U.S. overall; beef and pork exports lead the way.
“This USDA projection of record overall U.S. pork exports during 2019 bodes well for Minnesota to repeat that previous meat export performance,” Nill said.