Iowa Beef Producers on Mexico Trade Mission

Iowa Beef Producers on Mexico Trade Mission

April 12, 2017
Contact:

Kent Pruismann, Beef Producer, Rock Valley, 712-470-1352, rrfeeder@mtcnet.net
Corinne Rowe, Beef Producer, Dallas Center, 515-314-0911, corinner76@gmail.com
Chris Freland, Executive Director, Iowa Beef Industry Council, 515-296-2305


L to R: Michael Naig, Iowa Department of Agriculture, Kent Pruismann, Corrine Rowe and a Costco Meat Manager at a Costco store in Mexico City. 

AMES, IA – Iowa beef producers participated in a meat trade mission coordinated through Iowa Economic Development Authority’s international office to Mexico on March 26 – April 1, 2017. Corinne Rowe, Dallas Center, and Kent Pruismann, Rock Valley, attended the Iowa Meat Trade Mission on behalf of the Beef Checkoff Program through the Iowa Beef Industry Council. Pruismann reports that Mexico is the United States’ third largest export market for beef and beef variety meats in volume.

Mexico values U.S. beef products and their most requested cuts include skirt steaks, chuck clods and variety cuts such as tripe (stomach). Open-air markets are very popular amongst residents purchasing groceries including meat. Consumers in Mexico shop every day for their groceries as refrigeration is very limited. There is an opportunity for expansion of U.S. beef into new regions. Similarly, the team learned that like the U.S. consumer, consumers in Mexico, primarily millennials, want to know where their food comes from.

Mexico is a price sensitive market which creates a barrier for some cuts of beef including ribeye. “Opportunities to export U.S. beef to Mexico is focused on price,” comments Pruismann. “There is a lot of interest in U.S. beef for many beef cuts and variety meats that are in less demand by U.S. consumers.”

The Iowa trade team met with meat processors, government agencies, importers and meat industry officials. The team toured meat processing plants and retail supermarkets. Pruismann shares there is opportunity for export of whole muscle cuts and product for further processing. It was noted by the team these processors were proud to show their operations within the plants.

“The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an important part of the trade relationship between Mexico and the U.S.,” says Rowe. “The companies we visited want to continue NAFTA, with some updates made to reflect today's market.”  

The Iowa team met with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) staff who is responsible for marketing U.S. beef and pork internationally. They provide educational programs in meat preparation, cutting, product safety and handling. The beef checkoff invests funds to assist USMEF’s educational and promotional activity efforts.

Attendees on the mission included Iowa Economic Development Authority staff, members of the Iowa Pork Producers Association and the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Partial funding for the mission was provided by the Beef Checkoff Program.

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About the Iowa Beef Industry Council:  The Iowa Beef Industry Council is funded by the $1-per-head National Beef Checkoff Program and the $0.50-per-head Iowa State Beef Checkoff.  Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand.  For more information, visit www.iabeef.org