The U.S. Meat Export Federation held their annual Spring Conference last week in Kansas City, and staff and members from the National Corn Growers Association and state corn associations were present.

The conference featured updates on the positive growth of red meat exports and included presentations on U.S. trade related challenges and opportunities, an update from United States Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, country and region-specific marketing efforts and the global impact of African Swine Fever.

“There were a number of items on the trade front discussed at the meeting, including Japan’s lifting of longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports,” said Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “That equates to $23 million in incremental value to corn growers in the U.S. Updates from other markets included, Mexico removing retaliatory duties on U.S. pork and Canada eliminating a 10 percent duty on prepared beef products.”

Another topic discussed in depth at the conference was potential trade implications should African Swine Fever show up in the U.S. “It’s important to know that ASF does not represent a human health or food safety threat,” McKay said. “Many commodity organizations are monitoring the situation and have prevention and response plans in place.”

It was also announced at the conference that NCGA is sponsoring a Red Meat Processing Seminar June 11 – 12 at the University of Nebraska. International buyers from various countries and regions will learn about food safety, product evaluation, meat quality concepts and more.