Four members of the Nebraska Soybean Board recently made a mission critical trip to Japan to promote beef and pork exports. Japan is currently the United States’ third largest beef export and the number one value market for U.S. pork. The objective of the visit was to engage with Japanese consumers, showcase the quality of the United States’ pork and beef products and to enhance trade relations.
“Building a good working and trustworthy trade relationship based on history of quality, safe products for consumption and reliability are vitally important to consumers in Japan,” said Dave Beckman, a Nebraska Soybean Board member. “To me, it was evident how hard our commodity checkoff dollars and organizations like the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) work to ensure U.S. goods are valued in other markets.”
Meeting with social influencers was an eye-opening experience for both the consumer and USMEF members. Understanding the story behind their food, from origin to production to finished product, is a growing trend and a motivation to purchase in Japanese culture. Yoshio Okusaka attended the meeting and was excited to meet the producers. Knowing where food comes from affects Okusaka’s purchasing decisions and he shared he is willing to pay more if he knows the background of his foods.
“The experience opened my eyes to how much the Japanese love American agriculture. Japan is a growing market and the visit showcased the market potential for American producers which paints an opportunistic future,” said Beckman.
Information provided by the Nebraska Soybean Board.