USMEF kicks off a new campaign to revitalize US pork’s image with the trade and consumers
Following setbacks that slashed exports of US pork to Taiwan in recent years, demand has rebounded in 2023. Taiwan’s zero-tolerance policy for ractopamine residues and persistent trade tensions kept ractopamine in the public eye, creating a difficult business climate as US exports plunged in 2021 and 2022.
While these headwinds linger, the business climate for US pork has improved as supplies from Europe and domestic producers have tightened. From Jan.-Aug. 2023, US pork exports to Taiwan increased 429% in volume over year-ago levels with value up 575% to $45.4 million.
“Even with the recent announcement by Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration of site inspections on all imported pork, we are in a more favorable environment and seeing more inquiries from wholesale customers, especially those serving the foodservice sector,” says Jihae Yang, USMEF’s vice president for the Asia Pacific. “Some processors remain cautious about utilizing US pork, but USMEF’s engagement with these sectors is helping to improve customer confidence. We also see opportunities with high-end retailers featuring branded products.”
In the past, the majority of US pork exported to Taiwan was raw material for further processing. With greater trade interest, USMEF is also working to position US pork as a high-end product at trade shows and through a fine-dining initiative in the retail and foodservice sectors.
“The catering industry has rebounded and with international travel returning, we see potential in high-end foodservice and retail for US pork,” says USMEF Taiwan Director Davis Wu.
USMEF is partnering with Mayfull, an importer and distributor with numerous restaurant and retail establishments, on fine-dining promotions of US pork belly, loin and back ribs. The initiative kicked off with a series of VIP dinners featuring US pork for Mayfull’s foodservice clientele and for social media influencers. USMEF also developed a gift box with US pork for Mayfull to sell at upscale retail outlets which USMEF will support through tasting demonstrations.
Funding support was provided by Iowa Corn Promotion Board.