Texas Checkoff reaches international consumers

Aug 23, 2013
by WLJ

As Texas beef producers keep a close eye on trade relations with Russia, the Texas Beef Council (TBC) works to build demand in the greater Russian area known as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) which includes counties such as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

In conjunction with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), TBC recently showcased U.S. beef to nine CIS chefs through an extensive tour of the Texas beef industry. During the Texas beef industry tour the chefs visited numerous segments of the beef industry.

The tour began with a Beef 101 class where they were given an industry overview and learned about the quality and safety of U.S. beef.

To ensure the group experienced a broad spectrum of the beef industry, team members visited a working cattle ranch, feedlot and packing plant.

“Right now, each fed steer and heifer has right at $216 worth of value added just because of our export markets,” said Jason Bagley, TBC senior manager of beef quality and exports. “So, if all the export markets were to close, that $216 would be gone.”

Over a 22-year period, TBC has invested $23.9 million in developing international markets through US- MEF.

“The TBC board of directors has long recognized the value and opportunity present within international markets,” Bagley says. “The latest USMEF data shows an impressive 5-to-1 return on investment.”

Texas cattleman Larry Pratt, a TBC board member and Cattlemen’s Beef Board Global Growth Committee chairman, says that’s hard to beat.

“Just the other day, I asked a guy, ‘If I stood here and gave you five dollars for every dollar you had in your pocket, how long would you do that?’ He said, ‘I would do it all day long.’ Well, that’s what we’re looking at,” says Pratt.

According to USMEF, in May, total U.S. beef (muscle cut and variety meat) exports rose 3 percent over last year’s levels to 97,820 metric tons valued at $513.6 million, a 9 percent increase. They accounted for 10 percent of beef muscle cut production and 12.7 percent of beef and variety meat production, similar levels to last year. For January through May, export volumes dipped 3 percent to 440,840 metric tons valued at $2.26 billion, a 3 percent increase over last year’s record-setting pace. — WLJ