U.S. beef, corn producers tour Japan
A delegation of U.S. corn and beef producers arrived this week in Tokyo for a trade mission organized by the U.S. Meat Export Federation to promote U.S. corn-fed beef in Japan and South Korea.
The promotional tour of six producers representing the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, the Nebraska Beef Council and the Nebraska Corn Board began Tuesday at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo, with meetings with Japanese meat buyers, manufacturers and retailers. The delegation met Wednesday with more beef industry representatives, including importers, distributors and cold storage operators.
'As corn producers, we realize that the livestock industry is our No. 1 customer and that we need to be supportive of beef exports,' said Alan Tiemann, a corn and soybean farmer from Seward, Neb., representing the Nebraska Corn Board. 'That's something we have really set our minds to in Nebraska — understanding our largest customers' needs and working together to move our industries forward.'
Tiemann said relief from the 20-month cattle age limit on U.S. beef exports to Japan is needed in order for the market to reach its full potential.
'When we visited with the importers, grocers and meat buyers here in Japan, they were all in support of a higher age limit,' he said. 'They could definitely utilize more U.S. beef if we are able to get that, so we're hopeful that our governments will move this issue forward soon and then we'll really be able to open up this export market.' ' Eric Johnson