Beyond China: Meat-export group cultivates relationships with other customers

FIIC speaker says diversifying demand helps farmers survive market volatility.

By Jim Taylor

As concern continues to build over the future of trade relations with China, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) reminds farmers there are many other valuable customers around the globe.  

“A lot of these customers, I think the challenge is developing the relationship and working with them and trying to create that long-term stability and loyalty with them,” said Greg Hanes, USMEF’s vice president of international programs. “That’s obviously our key objective that we’re doing within these international markets.”

And the goal is to help producers survive the ups and downs happening in the market.

“Most of these countries that we’ve been working with remain fairly loyal with us,” Hanes said. “But obviously with some of the trade issues and the things that are going on, there are various pressures and price points that they need to consider as well.”

Hanes will present during a breakout session at Illinois Farm Bureau’s upcoming Farm Income & Innovation Conference in Normal, July 31-Aug. 1.

The federation has been around for 40 years, with a portion of its projects funded by checkoff dollars from beef, pork, lamb and corn and soybean farmers. 

“The corn and soybean groups realize the more meat we export, the more value-added grains we’re exporting as well,” Hanes said. “So that kind of combined impact really allows us to be able to maintain that work in the market and hopefully keep things as stable and increasing as we can.”

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