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Grain And Livestock Farmers Work To Build Markets In Japan

Posted on 9/18/15

Missouri Corn Merchandising Council Chairman Morris Heitman of Mound City and Missouri Corn CEO Gary Marshall recently joined a trade delegation to promote U.S. corn-fed beef and pork in Japan. The Missouri delegates were joined by farmers from four other states on the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) mission Sept. 7–12 to encourage increased consumption with meat distributors and retailers.

Although Japan is the number one importer of U.S. corn and red meat, USMEF and the team see additional market potential. Recently U.S. pork exports have been hit with port issues and shortened supply. At the same time, U.S. beef remains at a tariff disadvantage to Australian beef.

“American farmers provide a high-quality product, whether it’s grain or grain-fed meat. Our trade partners respect us for producing these products, and with proper logistics we have excellent trade opportunities,” Heitman said. “Negotiating trade agreements to ensure U.S. farmers are on the same playing field with other exporting countries was a major topic of discussion. Right now we operate with significantly higher tariffs than our competitors so despite the strong trade partnership, there’s room to increase demand for U.S. grain and meat.”

The team visited with the U.S. agriculture trade representative from the embassy in Tokyo for a briefing on current import conditions. The trade delegation then met with meat packers and buyers, observed U.S. beef and pork promotion at meat markets and convened with the U.S. Grains Council. The team also participated in a food blogger event and a trade seminar designed to promote U.S. beef and pork and build stronger business relationships with key members of the Japanese industry. Nearly 800 Japanese importers and food industry representatives attended the meat trade seminar.

“Japan is a major importer of both corn and meat products – beef and pork,” noted Heitman. “This venue enabled us to meet and visit with the packers, buyers and importers who are involved in processing and making our Missouri-made products available abroad.”

The Missouri Corn Merchandising Council partners with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to identify and develop international markets for beef, pork and lamb. Meat export markets boost corn and other feed grain utilization in the United States. Discover more about meat export efforts at www.usmef.org. Learn more about Missouri corn and the farmers who produce it at www.mocorn.org.

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Becky Frankenbach
Director of Communications
Missouri Corn Growers Association
(573) 893-4181

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