U.S. pork industry leaders were in Peru last week to meet with prospective buyers and raise awareness of the attributes of U.S. pork. With support from the National Pork Board and the USDA Market Access Program, activities included a U.S. pork fabrication training seminar led by David Newman, a Missouri pork producer and past president of the National Pork Board, who currently serves on the U.S. Meat Export Federation Executive Committee. Newman explains that the audience for the training seminar included importers, distributors and merchandisers serving various segments of Peru's retail sector.
"My background is in meat science, muscle biology, actually, so I've been involved here in the U.S. and doing a lot of seminars on carcass fabrication, utilizing the carcass, understanding different cuts," Newman says. "And so in some of these emerging markets, Peru being one of them, where you have very low consumption per capita, we're going to go there and try to help those consumers really understand what are some of the merchandising things that can be done? What are the characteristics of the production system in the United States? What does a modern swine system look like? And what's the value of U.S. pork?"
Newman says the audience in Peru is primarily domestic merchandisers, people who are responsible for actually merchandising pork throughout the various sectors: butcher chop chains, or the retail segment as well.
"It's a wide audience of people responsible for bringing pork into the system in Peru," Newman says. "Many of those people have experienced with the domestic pork system there, but then also the people who would have the access to import U.S. pork."
Courtney Knupp, vice president of International Market Development for the Pork Board sees excellent growth potential in Peru.
"Peru's an exciting market and through working with the U.S. Meat Export Federation staff on the ground, we glean insights from them and a key insight from Peru is that better understanding of the fabrication of the U.S. pork carcass would really be beneficial in showing buyers why U.S. pork is such a solid choice and will actually help to increase demand," Knupp says. "We have a free trade agreement with Peru, we have good relationships there. They have a lot of opportunity to increase consumption, and if we can help to do that, that will only help to increase the value and the opportunity for that market."
The delegation, which also included Clay Eastwood, director of international market development for the National Pork Board, visited retail outlets and toured pork processing facilities in Peru, and met with in-market staff from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. The team was accompanied by USMEF South America representative Jessica Julca, who is based in Lima.
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