An 11-member delegation representing China's pork industry has arrived to look at U.S. pork production and processing practices. During the week-long visit, they will visit Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa to see all aspects of U.S. pork production. The U.S. Meat Export Federation organized the tour with support from the Ohio Soybean Council and the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
"The first half of this year showed us the fantastic market potential that China holds for U.S. pork, but current conditions show us that this is still a volatile and very price-sensitive market," said Donald Song, USMEF’s senior representative for north China. "The longer-term fundamentals point to a strong future for U.S. pork exports to China, but success in this market will not come easily. Our marketing efforts will need to be more focused and efficient than ever."
Developing positive relationships with meat buyers in China will be one of the keys to being successful in marketing U.S. pork there, and this trip is designed to build those relationships. The tour begins in Ohio before traveling to the other states on the tour.
"They will visit Ohio State University, which is a major center of livestock research and development," said Kirk Merritt, international marketing director for the Ohio Soybean Council. "Then we’ll bring together as many key contacts from our agribusiness industry as possible to convey to this group how important we think their market is, and to encourage them to purchase from Ohio and certainly from the United States."
In Indiana the group will visit the headquarters of Elanco Animal Health and the Indiana Packers Corporation's operation in Delphi. The weekend will be spent in Chicago with a trip to the Chicago Board of Trade among the highlights. The tour will wrap up in Iowa with a "Meet the Buyers" conference where they will meet a cross-section of Iowa agriculture leaders.