John Hinners with US Meat Export Federation

(John Hinners) The US Meat Export Federation is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Denver, Colorado, with offices around the world. Our main mission is to put US red meat on the world’s table. We’ve invested or leveraged Kansas Soybean Commission’s Check Off dollars in beef and pork promotions in Tokyo, Japan. You might say, why would we invest the Check Off dollars in meat promotions? Well, as you well know the meat industry for example, is a component of the soybean industry, it’s all interrelated. We export well over 80 million bushels of soybeans through value added red meat exports each and every year. So it’s a win-win for the livestock industry and the soybean industry, as we can team up and work together in promoting meat in Japan. One of the main facets that we have in Japan is it is a premium market for US pork. Well over $60 this past year could be attributed to each and every hog just to the export market alone. And when you look at the cattle industry, well over $300 value of that beef animal could be attributed to the export market. So, as you can see, by being able to export beef in over 121 different countries last year and pork in 105 countries, it is a win-win for US agriculture. Well, we know for example in Japan the competition is fierce for the retail meat case. At any given time there could be over 27 different countries vying for shelf space. When we can provide US meat at that shelf space, it’s going to ultimately put dollars in the pockets of soybean producers and hog producers, as well as cattlemen and corn producers as well. So, that market has been very important to the United States. We sold nearly $2 billion worth of pork into Japan. Just this past year, it’s been the number one beef market for the United States beef industry as well. Export markets are critical to beef producers and pork producers. Over 13% of our beef production is sent to the export markets for consumption. And one out of four or about 25% of our hog production is being exported each and every year. The ultimate goal would be able to sell products throughout the world and have meaningful access into those markets. If we can sell a product that could garnish a premium in certain markets as opposed to, maybe some of the items that we don’t traditionally eat as much here are welcomed in other cultures or markets. It’s a win-win because if you could sell that product higher in a market as opposed to keeping it here, there’s going to be more profitability for livestock industry here in the United States. Kansas Soybean for example, when we leverage their dollars, we’re going to take a Kansas Soybean Check Off dollar and we’re going to leverage that with maybe USDA funding, and then a third party contribution. So, we’re going to take that Kansas Soybean dollar and ultimately turn it into about $3, for the soybean producer and the livestock industry, just by leveraging that in the marketplace.

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