The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) held a strategic planning meeting Nov. 5-7 in Arlington, Va., and among the topics was the importance of exports to the meat industry, namely pork and beef.
“To date, we export 28 percent of U.S. pork and 14 percent of U.S. beef,” said Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) Director Bruce Schmoll. Schmoll was elected secretary/treasurer of USMEF in 2013, and was elevated to vice-chairman at the meetings. “That’s a lot of additional money for our products.”
Schmoll said the important thing to understand is that exports account for additional value to beef and pork carcasses because in other countries, different parts of the carcass are consumed, whereas those same portions of the carcass may have little to no value in the United States.
“You’re looking at more than $300 per head value for beef and between $65 to $70 for hogs,” Schmoll said. “That doesn’t even begin to tell the entire story, because depending on the cuts of the carcass, we can really see an additional value in our international markets that we simply don’t have in the United States.”
Schmoll said USMEF discussed several issues at the meeting, including mandatory county of origin labeling, the European pork export situation, which Schmoll likened to “a fire sale,” and strategies for opening the beef market in China, which for now is still not an export option.
“As soon as that market opens up, that’ll be a huge boost to the beef industry,” he said.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is a nonprofit trade association working to create new opportunities and develop existing international markets for U.S. beef, pork, lamb and veal. Headquartered in Denver, USMEF has offices in Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Mexico City, Monterrey and Brussels. USMEF also has special market representatives covering China, the Middle East, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Chairman Paul Simonsen also attended the meeting. The MSR&PC invests checkoff dollars into the promotion and research of soybeans as feed for the livestock industry.