November 10-12 of this year marked the USMEF’s 45th Anniversary and Strategic Planning Conference held in Carlsbad, California. In addition to a full agenda of important industry topics, breakout sessions for beef, pork, exports, feed grains, and oilseed provided relevant, in-depth discussion.
Some of the major topics included:
- Shipping delays
- The future of American and European agriculture
- International market updates
- USMEF Strategic plan review
The event concluded on Saturday with a session focused on the success of U.S. red meat in South Korea. Red meat is seeing tremendous growth in Korea, according to Jihae Yang, USMEF-Korea Director. It is expected that Korea will be a $2 billion destination for U.S. beef exports in response to its consumers seeking more high-quality protein options. Prior to COVID-19, Korean consumers purchased U.S. meat through e-commerce platforms and home delivery services. These services have grown tremendously during the pandemic and continue to see steady growth.
Panel discussions focus on logistics challenges
West Coast port congestion and logistics challenges were discussed at length as well as the new regulatory burdens. The Long Beach COO, Noel Hacegaba, spoke about the obstacles US exporters face when moving chilled and frozen product through West Coast ports. One of the resolutions was the expansion of port operating hours as well as the fees now assessed on inbound containers that are not moved promptly. The additional charges are intended to help reduce the storage of cargo boxes that are being stored at the terminal. The supply chain challenges are complex, but the USMEF has pledged to work with meat and livestock partners to seek solutions and support efforts to pursue long-term improvements.
In addition, the USMEF members approved a resolution urging the USDA support for the U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan project. This resolution urgently requests funding support for African swine fever (ASF) prevention efforts.
With total red meat export value expected to reach approximately $18 billion this year, it imperative that everyone work together to resolve bottlenecks in supply chain and solve the logistics problems at our nation’s ports.
With all the challenges of moving products around the globe, it is important to partner with a food industry expert with its finger on top of the latest news and innovations. We are always here to help find solutions to your food industry challenges!