USMEF arranged for more than 100 business meetings between member companies and Chilean food importers at the Espacio Food and Service Show, a premiere South American food industry event held in Santiago. USMEF’s efforts, funded by the Pork Checkoff and the Beef Checkoff Program, also included cutting and cooking demonstrations featuring a variety of U.S. pork and beef cuts.
Cheyenne McEndaffer, USMEF technical services manager, led a breakfast meeting that attracted more than 30 buyers and several USMEF member companies. McEndaffer’s presentation included an update on U.S. pork and beef production and a detailed look at the qualities that set U.S. pork and beef apart from competitors’ products.
“I described the differences in U.S. beef carcass breaks and cut specifications as compared to Chilean beef,” she said. “We also did a quick overview of the primary U.S. pork cuts of interest to the Chilean market.”
McEndaffer was able to share valuable technical information about the country’s red meat importing and exporting process.
“Chile requires special bilingual labeling, including the equivalent Chilean product name to be listed,” she explained. “So it is important for importers and exporters to be clear on what those specification names are and which cuts they represent.”
More than 150,000 people attended the three-day show, making it Latin America’s second-largest. USMEF’s presence inside the U.S. Pavilion resulted in many one-on-one business meetings about trends and new ideas involving the U.S. red meat industry.
“Seven USMEF member companies participated and we were able to match them with potential buyers – most of them from Chile but also some companies from Uruguay and Colombia,” said Jessica Julca, USMEF representative in South America. “On the first day we set aside space for each company in the nearby Intercontinental Hotel and provided them with contacts and profiles of interested importers. The effort we made to match up the buyers and sellers was greatly appreciated.”
Meanwhile, USMEF’s exhibit was a place where retailers, foodservice managers and other potential customers of U.S. pork and beef were able to ask questions and learn about the availability of red meat products.
Colombian Chef Miguel Angel Hurtado conducted U.S. pork and beef cooking demonstrations throughout the show, preparing U.S. beef bone-in short ribs, chuck roll and flank steak, as well as U.S. pork loin, tenderloin and baby back ribs. Visitors were allowed to sample the dishes and get an appreciation of U.S. meat’s quality and versatility.