American beef producers hope for closer tie-ups with China

Source:Xinhua-Global Times Published: 2019/8/13 16:28:39

US beef producers are looking forward to gaining a larger share in China, one of the fastest-growing beef markets in the world, an industry expert has said.

China is a relatively new market for US beef, but one with a lot of potential to tap, said Ashley Kohls, executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association, an organization that currently represents over 1,000 members from all areas of the beef community.

US beef producers are excited to enter the Chinese market after years of absence resulting from the detection of the mad cow disease in the US, said Kohls on the sidelines of Farmfest, an annual trade show held this week in Minnesota.

According to the industry expert, who is also a beef producer herself, about 12 percent of US beef production is exported to overseas markets, and Minnesota is the 10th largest beef-producing state in the country.

"We're now putting a lot of efforts into talking to folks who sell beef in China, and talking about how great US beef is and then also showing folks how to cook US beef in the market," said Kohls, adding that her association has been sending a working group to Asia every year since 2017 to promote sales.

"It was a really neat experience going to the Asian countries because they're all very important for us when it comes to beef exports, and we're trying to bring a new market," Kohls said.

"We had the opportunity to meet with grocery store owners and restaurant owners. It was a fantastic experience. Everybody in Beijing was really nice and was really eager to learn, and they all loved the US beef," Kohls said.

Concerning the ongoing US-China trade tensions, Kohls said her organization is hopeful that "we'll get things resolved" before the situation becomes even worse, as trade rifts between the top two economies are likely to cloud the outlook for business collaborations.

"Any time there's any tension between countries that we either have a relationship with or are trying to build a relationship with, it's just struggle for us," she said.


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