LINCOLN — Four Nebraska producers made a mission critical trip to Japan to promote beef and pork exports. Japan is currently the United States’ third largest beef export and the number one value market for U.S. pork. The objective of the visit was to engage with Japanese consumers, showcase the quality of the United States’ pork and beef products and to enhance trade relations.
“Building a good working and trustworthy trade relationship based on history of quality, safe products for consumption and reliability are vitally important to Japan consumers.” Said Gwen Beckman a Nebraska pork producer. “To me it was evident how hard our commodity check-off dollars and organizations like U.S.M.E.F. work to ensure U.S. goods are valued in other markets.”
Meeting with social influencers was an eye-opening experience for both the consumer and U.S.M.E.F members. Understanding the story behind their food is a growing trend in Japanese culture. From origin to production to finished product motivates purchases in the country. Yoshio Okusaka attended the meeting and was excited to meet the producers. Knowing where food comes from effects Okusaka’s purchasing decisions and he shared he is willing to pay more if he knows the background of his foods.
“The experience opened my eyes to how much the Japanese love American Agriculture. Japan is a growing market and the visit showcased the market potential for American producers which paints an opportunistic future.” Said Beckman.