Value and versatility of underutilized pork, beef and lamb cuts were a focus of the event.

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On a market tour in Cartagena, U.S. industry leaders saw how U.S. beef and pork products are merchandised and sold to consumers in Colombian supermarkets.USMEF

Red meat buyers from Central and South America and the Caribbean recently met with U.S. suppliers in Cartagena, Colombia, during the 11th edition of the U.S. Meat Export Federation Latin American Product Showcase. With 70 U.S. exporting companies exhibiting at the showcase, 220 importers had the opportunity to meet U.S. suppliers and arrange purchases of a wide range of U.S. red meat products.

"We are a family company in Colombia for 45 years. This show is very important to us, because we can find new suppliers," said Laura De Bedout with Colombia-based importer Vitamar. "We are looking to have more brands of beef and pork to complete our portfolio for foodservice."

The value and versatility of underutilized pork, beef and lamb cuts were a focus of the educational activities during the showcase. U.S. industry leaders in attendance also toured a distribution center and several types of retail outlets.

Randy Spronk, a farmer from Edgerton, Minnesota, who serves as USMEF chair-elect, attended his third Latin American Product Showcase.

"It's just phenomenal seeing the growth that's happening in these countries," Spronk said. "It's great for those that fund USMEF to be able to see what those funds actually do and show the return on their investment."

Funding for the showcase was provided by USDA's Market Access Program, the Beef Checkoff Program, Nebraska Beef Council, Texas Beef Council, United Soybean Board, Illinois Soybean Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance. 

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